Falling Down
Year: 1993

If you haven't seen this movie then see it, if you have seen it, see it again. Michael Douglas is the nameless hero in this early 90's flicks about one man who's just had enough, in fact, too much. The story begins on a sweltering morning in grid locked L.A. freeway traffic, where a clean cut, white collar and tie wearing guy gets fed up and simply walks out of his car. That scene probably represents the secret desire of every metropolitan commuter, but it doesn't stop there. The movie goes on to chronicle the daylong rampage across the streets of Los Angeles of one man who's been hyperextended to the breaking point. Apparently our hero, Douglas, has had enough of the life's everyday factors and the social disintegration all around. Basically he's mad as hell, and isn't going to take it anymore and becomes a one-man crusade to fight the system. He's a nobody, but yet he represents everybody. And he has a desire just like everybody else; he wants to go home, to see his daughter for her birthday. However, he is unable to do so because of a restraining order placed against him by his ex-wife, and that becomes the subplot of the entire movie.

His first problem is the Korean grocer who wants to charges our hero 80 cents for a soft drink because he simply refuses to make change for a dollar. He decides to give the entrepreneur a lesson in price reduction and phonics, and then helps himself to a baseball bat to do a little inventory reduction. Then, Latino gang members confront our weary hero and demand Douglas's briefcase as a toll for trespassing on their turf. So, he lets them have it. Later, after meeting up with the same gang in a drive-by attempt, our hero escapes with a cache of serious automatic weaponry. With new armaments in hands he goes into the local burger joint and demands breakfast and service with a smile. Surely, by now he has the attention of the cops, who are looking for a guy in a white shirt and tie. Especially interested in the unfolding events is short-timer cop, Det. Prendergast (Robert Duvall), who is just trying to make it through his last day without getting killed. As the protagonist continues on his spree he shoots up a phone booth, and has a violent encounter with a neo-Nazi and homophobe (Frederic Forrest).

As the movie continues and events unfold halfway though, you start getting more personal insight into Douglas' character and learn about his living situation, failed marriage and lost job. You start to applaud him, he's getting justice for the innocent, and he avenges the wrongdoers on every level. He lashes out at the rich older WASP on the golf courses, the residents of exclusive neighborhoods who put barbed wire on their fences as well as the union workers who needlessly spend tax dollars to ensure a fat budget next year. The man has snapped, and instead of feeling sorry for him, you secretly envy him because he acts on every twisted little thought that you've had about getting back at someone, everyone, everything. Several people have criticized the movie for having racist overtones, because the hero is white and all the criminals, scum, and undesirables are minorities or white trash. It isn't racist....he represents the sentiments of people everywhere. As a black woman (yes, the rumors are true) I too could relate whole-heartedly to his frustration. He happened to be a just a man, an average man, who like me, is falling down, and falling apart.

Billz Movie Worthiness Scale: B

Billz Movie Worthiness Scale Values:

A = movie tickets and popcorn for 2 (about $40)
B = buy the DVD when it comes out ($25)
C = rent it
D = wait for it to be on cable/pay TV
E = wait for it to be on regular TV

Falling Czarina

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