Falling Down | Chicago Reader

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On the verge of retirement, a Los Angeles police officer (Robert Duvall) sets out to solve an escalating series of vigilante crimes committed by a former defense worker (Michael Douglas) estranged from his middle-class family. Written by Ebbe Roe Smith and directed by Joel Schumacher, this string of violent though petty wish fulfillments (1993) is cynically contrived to exploit male middle-class dissatisfactions without exploring the basis for any of them. On a surface level, it's fairly well realized as storytelling, cutting back and forth between the separate trajectories of Douglas and Duvall until they finally meet. But none of the characters ever rises beyond the level of his or her generic functions, and by the end the overall emptiness of the conception becomes fully apparent. With Barbara Hershey, Rachel Ticotin, Frederic Forrest, and Tuesday Weld. R, 115 min.
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