Deadfall is full of mostly predictable but still quite exciting thrills
‘Deadfall’ is an ice cold dramatic thriller with bullets, lust, and some old fashioned family values.
Family, am I right?
As Deadfall begins in the icy, snowy north of Michigan, near the Canadian border, two siblings, Addison (Eric Bana) and Liza (Olivia Wilde), are on the run after robbing a casino. Before long, there are dead bodies and the two troubled souls are split up in the cold wilderness. Addison struggles through the snow and morality, killing his way through necessity or desire, while Liza hitches a ride from just-out-of-prison ex-boxer Jay (Charlie Hunnam), who has a troubled backstory of his own. Jay’s parents (Sissy Spacek and Kris Kristofferson) have … mixed feelings about their son, but that’s nothing compared to the state trooper and family friend Hanna (Kate Mara), who has a very stereotypical sexist father/boss.
And it’s almost Thanksgiving!
Nothing in this movie is exactly unpredictable, but the pacing throws you through a mostly seamless barrage of action and lust, slowing down to paint a bit more of the family troubles literally every main character faces. You can see exactly how this movie will end, and you’ll be right. But it’s still decent, mindless fun getting to that point. The film gets mixed up tonally at times, tossing in a vaguely racist caricature Native American and a bunch of violence right before it delves into the complex moral standing of Addison. His relationship with his sister is protective and creepy, going places you sort of expect but still are somewhat surprised about. Eric Bana is suitably imposing and insane, although his Southern accent fades in and out a bit. As his equally damaged in different ways sister, Olivia Wilde really works up the femme fatale who’s actually severely traumatized excellently, although the character is almost too nuanced for this simplistic story.
Then you have what I’d call “reliable” performances from the older folks — Kris Kristofferson does his best “my face literally has one expression” acting while Sissy Spacek is a worried mother to a tee. A lot of the plot twists and turns attempt to be overly clever, but are really pretty obvious — the movie does better when it focuses on classically cliched characters instead of overwhelmingly cliched plot. It’s a decent, forgettable thrill ride that makes you forget to put on a seatbelt, but then you remember the car was parked the whole time. I hope that metaphor made as little sense to you as it did to me.