I’ve held off from reviewing movies so far, because I like to be able to have you watch along with the review. Obviously with movies, this is more difficult to do, because they are rarely online and not everyone will own what I’m reviewing. Actually, odds are if I’m reviewing it, you shouldn’t own it. That’s why I live tweeted “Next”, which I feel is a pretty good way to handle movies and will probably be what I employ from time to time. Of course, there’s always going to be an exception, and that’s the best way to describe Deadfall. Well, really the best way to describe Deadfall would be: God-awful movie with a Nicolas Cage performance so bad, that it transcends horrible and goes straight to amazingly unforgettable. This is a film that needs to be examined at length, and that’s exactly what I plan to do, with a three part mega review. I’ll pass along links to scenes when I can.
For starters, here’s the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfRWEqdAg8A
The first thing you need to know about Deadfall is that it’s produced by Ted Fox. Who’s Ted Fox? Ted Fox is the man who produced Deadfall. It’s clearly an important fact, as it’s mentioned in the opening credits no less than five times.
This cinematic masterpiece begins with our main character Joe, a conman, about to enter the final phase of a con. Joe is played by Michael Biehn, who’s famous for playing Kyle Reese in the first Terminator film, Corporal Hicks in Aliens and not much else. The mark, or victim of the con, is some fat guy who thinks he’s about to buy lots of cocaine.
Oh and just in case you forgot…
In reality he’s just going to lose his money when Joe’s team of conmen poses as the FBI to break up the deal. Everything goes according to the plan at first. They meet up in a warehouse with the man selling to cocaine, who’s somehow managed to park his car inside, and the deal begins to go down. Actually, it only begins to go down after the mark requests “a taste” of the cocaine. If you thought “a taste” meant “a sample”, you’d be wrong. He scoops out a handful and eats it.
Pleased with the product, the mark agrees to the buy, and then the sting takes full swing in a terribly acted scene. Joe notices the seller is wearing a wire, declares the whole thing is a set up, then shoots the guy, and it shot himself as police rush in. The mark waddles off in a panic, gets in his car and then drives off, leaving his money behind. It seems all went according to plan, except for one slight problem. The gun Joe used was loaded with real bullets instead of blanks, so he actually shot the seller. Oh, and the seller is his father.
A distraught Joe cradles his dying father in his arms, and listens to his last words. Unfortunately we’re unable to hear them, not because they aren’t spoken, but because they’re spoken incomprehensibly, whilst James Coburn chews on blood capsules. I was able figure out that he was saying something about his brother and a cake, and then he started gargling blood.
Joe is torn up about accidentally killing his father, a fact the movie makes clear by having him hold an empty liquor bottle while making painful, upset faces.
At the “funeral” which is really just Joe and a few of the other conmen standing around watching two guys throw dirt in the grave, Joe thinks he sees a red haired woman that looks just like his mother. Of course when he asks someone about it, she’s disappeared. I’ll tell you right now, the movie wants this to be important later on, but it really isn’t. Joe’s next act is to track down his father’s brother, the uncle he never knew he had, so it’s off to San Francisco, home of the greatest character in movie history, but more on that in a few paragraphs.
Joe hops a bus for San Fran, but he’s not alone, as there appears to be a mysterious bearded man following him. Remember how the red haired woman is supposed to be important, but really isn’t? This is like that, but with even less of an explanation. We’ll refer to him as Jasper, because that’s what I called him when I encountered him during “A Day in the Life of Nicolas Cage” and I’m a sucker for continuity.
When he arrives in San Francisco, Joe visits a market, and we’re treated to watching some old black man buy groceries. Also at the market? Former drummer for The Monkees, Mickey Dolenz!
Not much else of note happens in the next several minutes; Joe halfheartedly flirts with a waitress and pays a busboy to tell his boss that he’s looking for Lou Dolan, his uncle. Then, the movie, and hell, cinema in general, changes forever. Once the busboy leaves, we’re introduced to Eddie, and no one will ever be the same again.
Eddie, if you couldn’t tell is played by Nicolas Cage. Here the term “played by” means “acted out like some sort of Mexican crackhead who may or may not be autistic, is almost certainly on meth and is definitely half in the bag at all times.” That doesn’t even come close to describing this performance. Luckily, you can all watch Eddie’s introduction for yourselves: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1y0QokjPjEE
After Eddie’s incredibly unimpressive, and yet wholly amazing card trick, he takes Joe to finally meet his uncle Lou. Turns out Lou isn’t just Joe’s father’s brother, he’s his twin brother! It’s a fact that leaves Joe awestruck to say the least. Eddie on the other hand…appears to be coming off a high. I’m going to guess he was huffing paint thinner.
Joe and Lou discuss the events of his father’s death, though neither seem particularly broken up by it. This point is driven home by Lou telling Joe that he should go out on the town with Eddie, hit a few bars, and have some fun. Joe agrees. How does Eddie feel about this?
Later that evening, Joe and Eddie are ready to hit the town, but first they’ve got to pick up Eddie’s girl, Diane. But first we have to take a look at Eddie’s wardrobe for the evening.
So anyways, Diane is Eddie’s girl and she’s far too attractive for him.
Fun fact: Diane is played by Sarah Trigger, who was at one point married to actor Jon Cryer. That’s a fun fact because Jon Cryer would eventually star alongside Charlie Sheen in the TV show Two and a Half Men, and Charlie Sheen will pop up later in Deadfall. No wait, it’s a fun fact because Sarah Trigger allegedly hired a hitman to kill Jon Cryer in an attempt to gain custody of their child. Sorry, got confused there for a second.
It turns out Eddie’s idea of going out and having fun is actually going out and running petty cons. He enlists Joe to help, and the trio set off to fleece bar patrons and other lowlifes. But first, they’ve got to get the car started, and that’s no easy task, because as Eddie will tell you, that fucking fucker’s fucked.
And this is where we’ll end part one of the review. I’m breaking up the film into three parts, so be sure to come back tomorrow for part two. It’s going to consist of almost entirely Eddie related scenes and they only get more over the top and wonderfully absurd from here.