These characters holding their end of the bargain is not to be taken lightly, at least by us and that’s a request.
The director Joel Schumaker’s commercial take on any material is magnanimous on looks and incompetent mentally or emotionally. Let me rephrase that. The term “commercial” shouldn’t be used while describing Joel’s films. It is in his blood. And could also be argued that he, himself is more of an audience than a maker. And hence his picks, his choices is something an audience can relate to and even agree to. They encourage it. It is entertained, the idea is entertained by the audience rather than the other way around. And Joel makes sure his film checks everyone and every fantasy of theirs.
But his films have always left me unchecked. I always find myself compromising with the result. And the result isn’t something that appears in a blink. It comes after a series of choices. And there is nothing wrong with what sort of choices Joel chooses. He is a sophisticated director. He knows where he should aim at. The only issue is that he is aiming at those things lazily. And arguably it could also be said that not much homework went in in this production.
And for a thrilling drama I am ready to let that part go. But something so standard, something like a map should come in handy in a film as physical as such. We never are fully aware of the space between the characters and the world it revolves around. You can see that in the last scene of the film. What should have been the ultimate showdown, is now just an embarrassing moment shared by Michael Douglas playing an eccentric exhausted worker and Robert DuVall playing an emotionally wrecked “sheriff”. You can see why Falling Down swoon its audience, it has the generic action goods you’d love to be around.