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Falling Down (1993)
Misguided in the second half
When i review a film, i give it an /5 for the first half and an /5 for the second. And, for this film, Falling Down, the first half gets 5/5, due to fabulous direction, dialogue, and a real sense of a gun as a leit motif. Im sure that when watching this film, from the start you would be aware that he will get a gun, and he will slowly deteriorate into a murderer. And the start of this film really gives this impression that he is in fact a broken man, prepared to let loose and return societies cruelty, almost comedically meeting different every day frustration that a normal man might, yet making him seem like you or me.
However, the second half, i only give 2/5. This is based on the fact that, with a build up of this man prepared to start causing havoc, but fizzles out a bit, as well as losing the leit motif of a gun after he gets one, it seems like it wasn't worth doing in the first place. And his apparent 'killing spree', only involves killing two people, one was an accident, when he gives him a heart attack after firing his shotgun, but also destroying the mans pills. The other was in self defence. I'm not saying that I wanted a violet film, but maybe the suggestion that he was willing to kill anyone to get his way, even if only suggested. I give the second half 1 star for the character portrayal, as it was fabulous and realistic. I gave the other star for inventive ending, giving birth to other brilliant film endings such as that of Gran Torino. It didn't get a star for story, locations or speed. I found a pier too much of a cliché, and the story progressed far too quickly, for example, the transition between house and pier. Also, the story in the second half was far weaker than that of the first half.
In summary, with one of the best opening scenes, and fabulous scene setting, it was let down by a lack of character direction, love him, hate him, feel sorry for him, hate him again, disappointing. But comes back with a fabulous ending.