One of my earliest memories of classic movies was in 1985. I was 8 years old and watched Romancing The Stone, an action adventure with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner on VHS. Back in those days, the video releases were very cut. So when some scenes looked too violent, plenty of scenes were cut down, because of a law that actually existed. There are plenty of classic movies who faced the same situation, thankfully most of them can now be found uncut on blu ray. Speaking about Michael Douglas, this is an actor with many classic motion pictures in his hands, most of you must have seen Wall Street, or maybe Basic Instinct ? The list can go on forever, but i have to say this is a true legend. No matter what category he tried on screen, he could bring magic on screen, even if the movie was bad. Just a year after the huge success with Basic Instinct, Michael Douglas took on a very different character in Falling Down, by director Joel Schumacher. The story sounded very simple, about a man who is trying to get his daughter a present, even if he is not allowed near his former home. But maybe this is much better than what it sounds, or is Michael Douglas wrongly casted in this odd thriller drama ?
William Foster ( Michael Douglas ) is having a really bad day. Stuck in traffic he have had enough. He leaves his car, and start walking on the highway. He wants to buy his daughter a gift, so he walk around, on this hot day trying to make everything alright. But when he is conflicted with people, in different situations, he loose his mind and all hell breaks loose. He smash a store with a baseball bat, beat up 2 gang members ( who try and revenge him by a shootout, where they all crash ). In this car that the gang members drove, there is a bag with weapons, so William pick up the bag and continue his journey. Armed with lots of guns, and having a really bad day, there is nothing that will stop him from coming home to his daughter. Police Sergeant Martin Prendergast ( Robert Duvall ) is working his last day at the police station, Before retirement, when he finds out several people are telling police about a mad man, going out in the streets causing problems. Martin does not think this could be such a big deal, until more people contact police, as William continue his journey. William´s ex-wife Elisabeth Trevino ( Barbara Hershey ) recive phone calls from William, where she tells him he is not allowed to visit his daugter. William does not listen, he will see his daughter, no matter what he have to do.
I was 16 years old when Falling Down came out, and i went to see it at the cinema. I loved it, and even today 20 years later, i still love Falling Down for many reasons. The simple story of William Foster on a really bad day is brilliant. Michael Douglas did one of his career´s best performances in Falling Down. To make this character so disturbed, and still you feel sorry for him, is a very big challenge as an actor. Robert Duvall shows once again why he is such a legendary actor, with a very strong performance as the tired Sergeant Martin, ready to throw in the towel. This is actually the best motion picture so far that director Joel Schumacher have made so far in his career, ( Phone Booth is really good also, but not as good as Falling Down ). Original stories are always more interesting to watch, than the same Hollywood pattern we are used to see. Falling Down is one of the best movies of the 90´s, no doubt about that. I honestly hope no one does a remake on this classic motion picture, no one could do better than the original story. Worth buying to your blu ray collection.