Falling Down

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -3 1/2

Billed as "A Tale of Urban Reality," FALLING DOWN tells the story of an out-of-work defense contractor and his violent journey through the streets of Los Angeles. William Foster (Michael Douglas) starts his day in a massive traffic jam in the heat of summer. In a fit of rage, he abandons his car. He vows to visit his little girl, whom he has been forbidden to see since his divorce. He encounters convenience store clerks who don't speak English, an attempted mugging by gang members, and fast-food chains that have more rules than food. He deals with them by shooting and stabbing his way through the city. Robert Duvall plays the retiring cop who has only one day left to find this madman. Unfortunately, Duvall's character is somewhat lost in the shuffle of the confused plot. The movie tries to be funny with the attitude that these people are only getting what is coming to them. However, to many it will be just a very dark look at the problems of modern life.

The most disturbing element of FALLING DOWN is the notion that William's violent acts are somehow justified. Since it was very hot and since the people were very rude, he had the right to shoot up their stores and sometimes, the people themselves. William is presented as an "everyman" who does what everyone else would do if only they had the nerve. The film glories in violence, much of it done to inanimate objects - shooting up a telephone, the ceiling of a building or the goods in a store. Other scenes, however, show William's violence directed towards people. He hits two gang members in the face with bats, shoots someone else in the leg, stabs another and then shoots him multiple times. The gang members attempt a drive-by shooting, hitting two bystanders and then fatally crashing their car. Yes, William is portrayed as "crazy" but only because he was driven to it by the cold, hard world. Included with the violence, is a lot of atrocious language. The f-word is chanted 59 times and the s-word 13 times, along with numerous other obscenities. For the violence, the language, and above all the message, FALLING DOWN falls flat on its face.

Preview Reviewer: Greg Wilson
Warner Bros., 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91522

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (20) times - Mild 10 and Moderate 10

Obscene Language: Many (94) times - (f-word 59 times, s-word 13, 22 others)

Profanity: Many (17) times - Regular 12; Exclamatory 5

Violence: Many times - Moderate (man shot in leg, man stabbed, man shot several times, two bystanders wounded in shooting, car crashed with four people in it, two men beat in head with bat, destruction of property several times).

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: One scene with a strip-o-gram, no nudity shown

Drugs: None

Other: None

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