Falling Down (1993)
What does it take to bring a man to the breaking point?
A little warm weather? A traffic jam? An annoying fly? A school bus full of unruly kids who throw stuff out the windows? Unjustly inflated prices? An immigrant who hasn't learned your language? An impolite customer experience? A broken marriage? A lost job? A daughter who doesn't want to see you anymore?
For Michael Douglas - in-movie name still unknown, great movies do things differently like that - I'm not sure where the breaking point was, but that's where this movie starts, and we follow him on a walk through the city as he tries to get home, and give a snow globe to his daughter on her birthday.
Meanwhile a police officer is just about to retire. He's on his last day at work when the news come in that someone assaulted a a shop owner with a baseball bat, that someone was involved in a drive-by, that a shop owner's ended up dead... their ways collide at the pier, in one maybe not so fierce but tense and conclusive showdown, and that's the movie.
It's still bad-ass after all this time.
They paint the city in realistic colors. The golf club green; the rest of it sunny but dusty and cluttered, a paradise of poverty and unfair fates, which eventually brings our main character past the point of no return.
The pacing's calm, but never dull. The dialog's never wasted. The glimpses into the mind of a man who goes so over the line... makes you realize this could happen to just about anybody. What if that was me? What if that was my neighbor?
Maybe not really, but it doesn't feel exaggerated. They might not show the full transformation within the runtime of this movie, but it feels like they nail the essentials. The moment that really counts. The turning point. And that feels like one just about anyone could work their way up to. Though maybe they wouldn't handle things exactly as this guy did...
There's not a wasted minute in this. Everything is so balanced and well-timed. And the thing I like maybe most of all - that makes it feel all the more authentic somehow - is that it all takes place in a day. Just like any other. No excess darkness. No excess anything. And with a very linear progression. There's no break. No night's sleep. No moment of rest after which everything changes - or your perception of it changes. However many days it took for them to film this it's impressive they managed to make every day seem like just the one.
I watched this movie years back too, just recently watched Foo Fighter's Walk video, and had to see this again.
And it still stands. It's still the best executed breaking point movie I've ever seen. It should be up there in IMDB's Top 250. Maybe not the top top but somewhere there. And it better never be falling down.
rated 5/5: friggin awesome