Deadfall comes to us from Best Foreign Language Oscar winner Stefan Ruzowitsky (The Counterfeiters) and has an excellent cast of many well established actors and up and coming stars.
It’s about two siblings, Addison and Liza (played by Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde respectively), who are on the run from a casino heist. The two are then involved in a car accident leaving one officer dead. They end up stranded in the snowy mountainous terrain of North Michigan. Bana, being the protective brother, advises them to split-up, as police only have him as a suspect.
Whilst Bana causes carnage on his journey, Liza meets up with ex-boxer and ex-con Jay (Charlie Hunnam), who is heading back home to his estranged parents, (played to great effect by the crusty Kris Kristofferson and the mumsy Sissey Spacek). Meanwhile on the heist case are father and daughter sheriffs, played by Treat Williamsand Kate Mara.
Whilst on paper this reads as yet another heist movie with the usual good guys and bad guys, the film concentrates more on the relationships that are woven together in a snowy tapestry. As the body count left by Bana continues to grow and the police are on his tail, the bond between Jay and Liza grows, thus drawing Jay to a Thanksgiving Dinner reunion with his family and weaving all three interconnected ‘family units’ crashing together in a climatic ending, where bonds and loyalty are pushed to the limit.
Although this film is set in the snowy landscapes of Michigan and involves a heist and the police, this is no Fargo, It is an enjoyable romp nonetheless. The film is sometimes clichéd, occasionally with unintentional laughs, but the solid performances and relationships are what drive the film.
The relationship between the siblings often insinuates an incestual tie, but never focuses on it. Olivia Wilde excels in an edgy role as her alliances change. Bana does ham the role of the complex villain to full effect (similar to his breakout role as Chopper), often bordering on totally unbelievable but at the same time he is both likeable and loathsome. Each actor plays their character excellently and Charlie Hunnam does an great job as the emotionally fraught and sensitive Jay (unrecognisable from his Queer As Folk days)
Overall Verdict: Deadfall achieves what it sets out to do, and bizarrely most of the characters are likeable even if they’re ‘bad guys’. It is not a great film by any means, but it is certainly entertaining.
Reviewer: Stephen Sclater