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Deadfall - Review

Deadfall

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 2.5 out of 5

STEFAN Ruzowitzky’s first film since winning an Oscar for The Counterfeiters is a star-studded thriller that promises a lot more than it ultimately delivers.

It starts off strong and keeps you gripped for long periods before stumbling to an over-cooked and unsatisfying finale.

The film picks up as brother and sister Addison and Liza (Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde) are making their way through the snowy highways near the Canadian border, following a successful casino heist. When their vehicle crashes, however, they split up with Addison taking to the woods to make good his escape, and Liza left out in the open with the knowledge that her involvement in the robbery went unnoticed.

Thrown into the mix are an ex-Olympic boxer, Jay (Charlie Hunnam), fresh out of prison and already on the wrong side of the law, who picks up Liza, and his mum and dad (Sissy Spacek and Kris Kristofferson), who are at home awaiting a Thanksgiving reunion.

And then there’s the law, headed by town sheriff Marshall T. Becker (Treat Williams) and including his ambitious, put-upon daughter Hanna (Kate Mara).

Seasoned audiences will know early on that all these stories and characters will eventually converge but a lot of the fun lies in seeing how they get there.

To this end, Ruzowitzky keeps things interesting when in the company of Bana, Wilde and Hunnam (the twisted sexual dynamic between the sibling robbers especially so) but has trouble fleshing out the supporting cast and keeping their stories from appearing anything other than contrived.

Some of this also bogs the movie down somewhat, making the 93 minute duration seem a lot longer than it is.

This may have been easier to overlook had the climax really delivered. But sadly the last act is more absurd and unintentionally laughable than gripping or exciting and poorly conceived into the bargain.
Character motivations don’t make sense and the inevitable confrontations feel anti-climactic.

For a film that sets itself up to be intelligent, tense and brutal (with more than a passing nod to the style of the Coens), Deadfall eventually falls a long way short and feels a bit of a waste of time.

Certificate: 15
Running time: 93mins
UK Release Date: May 10, 2013