Glenn Kenny
May 17, 1996 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Falling Down

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
performer
Michael Douglas, Karina Arroyave, Robert Duvall, Barbara Hershey
director
Joel Schumacher
genre
ActionAdventure, Drama, Romance, Comedy

We gave it an C-

In the social-apocalypse epic Falling Down, Michael Douglas’ character, an angry white male on a rampage through Los Angeles, decries fast-food joints (they’re too strict about when they stop serving breakfast) and convenience stores (they won’t give you change to make a phone call, and then they overcharge for a Coke) in between wrecking those fast-food joints and convenience stores. While Douglas’ D-FENS — the character is referred to by the name on his vanity license plate — is not meant to be heroic, writer Ebbe Roe Smith and director Joel Schumacher are so hidebound by Hollywood tradition that they wrap their social commentary around a standard revenge fantasy, thereby making him a hero anyway. And although Douglas delivers his rants with gusto (culminating in the movie’s only resonant line: ”I’m the bad guy?”), they’re ultimately just sound and fury. C

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