Deadfall comes with an impressive cast and enough thrills to keep entertained, however despite all that it’s still a pretty rote thriller which offers nothing new to the genre.
The film opens with brother and sister crime-combo Addison and Liza, (Eric Bana and Oliva Wilde) on the run after a casino robbery. An accident leaves them stranded during a snow storm so they split-up and agree to meet across the border in Canada. They have the local police force on their tail, led by father and daughter (Treat Williams and Kate Mara), a duo working out family issues. Liza crosses paths with Jay (Charlie Hunnam), a disgraced ex-con boxer who is on his way to spend Thanksgiving with his parents (Kris Kristofferson and Sissy Spacek), while Addison gets into all sorts of trouble before the denouement.
There’s much to recommend in Deadfall. It’s a great looking atmospheric thriller and Bana is clearly relishing the opportunity at playing the villain. He’s strangely charismatic as a character who audiences will love to hate. It’s the most interesting role in the movie, as everyone else is a stock character with family issues. In fact, family is at the core of Deadfall and the theme is laid on just a little too thick.
Stefan Ruzowitzky’s film feels like an odd amalgamation of Fargo, No Country For Old Men and A Simple Plan. The fact that it comes after those movies means that it feels that you’ve seen it all before and it just can’t avoid the comparisons. Zach Dean’s script relies a bit too much on coincidence, pulling the characters together for the family gathering from hell. It has a few original moments but some of the dialogue feels forced. It also has so many disparate elements that at times it feels like four different films edited together, making it seem much longer than its 90 minute running time.
Deadfall is an entertaining enough time-passer. It has enough thrills and action to keep you entertained but it never truly feels fresh or original.
The Blu-ray for Deadfall has quite a few mini-interviews and behind the scenes snippets. It’s a shame that they all clock-in around the two minute mark making it all feel a bit bitty – these things should always be edited into much larger pieces.