Falling Down is a satirical and dark social commentary about violence and the consequences that result. Directed by Joel Schumacher (8mm, Phone Booth, Batman & Robin), it’s the tale of an anti-hero on a quest to get home for his daughter’s birthday. Trouble is, he has violent tendencies, gets derailed every step of the way, and he and his wife are divorced due to his temper.
Everyone William Foster (Michael Douglas) encounters is a jerk; hell-bent on causing him trouble, harm, or inconvenience. As a result, Douglas goes on a violent rampage through the streets of Hollywood. Attacking gang members with a bat; shooting-up phone booths; and using a missile launcher at a construction site. He’s a man on a mission, and a man whom no one seems to be able to find.
Enter Detective Martin Prendergast (Robert Duvall), a cop on the verge of retirement, who catches wind of the odd circumstances surrounding the “white man in the white shirt and tie.” Soon, the hunt begins to find Douglas and stop him before he reaches his ex-wife and daughter. He’s a man on a mission; a mission that leaves many terrified, injured, and dead people in its wake. Will he get to his ex and kid before the cops get to him????
Foster’s an anti-hero in every sense of the term. Like Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) in Taxi Driver, Foster has become fed up with society and the people he encounters within it. He’s on a mission to teach those who ruin his day a lesson; many of them at the expense of their lives. Both men utilize violence as a means to get their points across, and both men wind up involved in violent acts at the end of their journeys.
Foster could also be considered akin to Charles Bronson’s character in Death Wish. A vigilante out to inflict his own brand of social justice on society. And, much like Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis in Natural Born Killers, the audience finds themselves cheering for Foster as he battles the world that intends to crush him like a bug.
This Deluxe Edition features audio commentary by Michael Douglas and director Joel Schumacher. It also includes an insightful interview with Douglas about the film.
Falling Down isn’t a film for everyone. It contains graphic violence and language. If you enjoy films like Taxi Driver, Natural Born Killers, and Death Wish, you will like this film.