MOVIE REVIEWS

Deadfall

6/10 NR

November 8, 2012

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Like an angel come down from the storm.

Deadfall is directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky and written by Zach Dean. It stars Eric Bana, Olivia Wilde, Charlie Hunnam, Kate Mara, Treat Williams, Kris Kristofferson and Sissy Spacek. Music is by Marco Beltrami and cinematography by Shane Hurlbut.

Siblings Addison (Bana) and Liza (Wilde) are fleeing a casino heist that’s gone badly wrong. Deciding to split up, they arrange to meet up at a later point and go their separate ways. Liza hooks up with ex-convict Jay (Hunnam) while Addison has a date with an abusive father. All while the police, led by a father and daughter pairing who have their own family issues, close in on them along with a blizzard.

Ruzowitzky’s snowy neo-noir may not have the most brainiest of plots, but it makes up for that elsewhere with genuine thrills, spills and wintry chills. Shane Hurlbut photographs it in steely cold metallic blues, piercing whites and bloody reds, then laying an ethereal sheen over the night time sequences. This is perfect tonal accompaniment to the characterisations fronting the story, Addison and Liza have definite incestuous leanings, with the former capable of brutal violence when required. Jay, out of prison, is a big disappointment to his father (Kristofferson), but more pressing concerns are a deadly confrontation he is forced into, and that he’s falling for Liza, who appears to be damaged goods and whose motives are unclear.

On the supposed good side of the snowy fence is Hannah (Mara) and Becker (Williams), daughter and father cops, she strives to make her daddy proud, he resents her for not being a son, even chastising her with cold venom in front of other officers. It’s a whirlpool of troubled characters battling it out in the snowy wilds of North America. Ruzowitzky inserts some quality action sequences as the protagonists/antagonists snake towards their date with destiny, which arrives in a classy film noir trope way at Jay’s parents house. The air is pungent with fatalism and the link of all characters having kin problems gives the narrative some bite. Very well performed by the cast, this is comfortably recommended to neo-noir lovers. 7.5/10

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