Rated: R For language and violence. Reviewed by: Chris Release date: February 26, 1993 Released by: Warner Brothers
What does it take to push a guy over the edge? To make him lose control and turn into a moving time bomb? Director Joel Schumacher (Flatliners) probes that complex question in Falling Down.
Dressed in a white shirt and tie, sporting black rimmed glasses and a crew cut, Bill Foster (Michael Douglas) looks like any other white-collar, middle income family man. But, sitting in his car in a California traffic jam, you see the frustration building. The heat intensifies outside, his air conditioner is on the fritz, the window handle is broken and a fly that insists on using the nape of his neck r a perch all combine to become the straw that broke Bill's back.
Sick of dealing with things that everyone has complained about at one time or another, like overpriced convenience stores, not getting your burger the way you ordered it, rude pushy people and the misfits and weirdos of the world in your face, Bill picks up bigger and more powerful weapons as he walks through the Los Angeles streets smashing a store, beating gang members and finally shooting a store owner in his rampage.
Barbara Hershey plays a small roll as Bill's estranged wife, who's afraid of his impending and unwanted visit to their daughter on her birthday.
Balancing out Douglas' high-strung, clenched-jawed character is easy-going, hen-pecked robbery detective Pendergast (Robert Duvall), who on the last day before his retirement gets caught up in the excitement of this case and remembers the reason he became a cop in the first place.
Both characters are examples of tired, let-down-by-the-system, disappointed men who cope with stress differently, but both can be understood. Douglas and Duvall give outstanding performances.
Falling Down taps our own frustrations, and even though this guy's gone beyond reason, we can almost identify with him.