Saturday, September 10, 2011

REVIEW: Deadfall (1993)

You might notice I haven’t posted much lately on this blog. Well, that’s simply because the last movie I saw was so bad, so pointless, so horrendous in every way, that I could not sum up my feelings in any conceivably literate way until now. Yes, folks, this is Deadfall, the most half-assed and hackneyed concoction of soggy, tired film noir clichés ever conceived of before Black Dahlia came along about 13 years later and raped all of our minds. But at least this one has Nicolas Cage! Cage is really the only saving grace about this at all, as the rest of the movie is just pure garbage in every way. Introduction enough for you? I think so.

Director: Christopher Coppola
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Some Other Assholes

The credits show us a few things – the director is Christopher Coppola, it’s starring Nicolas Cage and Talia Shire has a part in the movie as well. Is this just a Coppola family reunion? Well, after watching it, you’ll wish they had some of the other Coppolas helping out; you know, like Francis Ford or Sofia. Maybe they would have made this at least a little bit watchable. But let’s just get started with the actual movie before we’re here all day.

The film starts off with some idiots in suits who obviously were late to the bargain bin theater production of Grease driving around. Then we get an incredible change of pace when the same idiots in suits going into a warehouse and pretending to be hardcore gangsters making a sting operation. Yeah, because I’m sure this slop will make me forget Paul Newman and Robert Redford in The Sting, right? Christ. Two minutes in and already I’d rather be watching an M. Night Shyamalan picture. That’s a new goddamn record.

Oh, and I forgot to mention the narration, delivered in perhaps the most unfitting manner ever by the worst protagonist in cinema history, Michael Biehn, who plays our main character Joe. Seriously, this guy has all the charisma of your average coma patient. He’s about as interesting as a piece of wet toast stuck to a cat’s backside…wait, actually I think that would be far more interesting that Michael Biehn’s narration!

Then a shoot out starts when the bad guys figure out they’re being played. I love how these morons are just firing randomly into the dark; isn’t that always an indication of great gunmanship?

"If we keep shooting blindly at the dark, SURELY we'll get things done!"

So in an act of true mastery of the craft, Joe accidentally kills his business partner and father in a shoot-out. Yeah, better try actually learning how to aim next time, you twit. I seriously don’t know how they expect us to take this even remotely seriously. Oh boo hoo, you screwed up; deal with it you little pisshead.

And what’s this? A scene of him crying in his room leaning against the bed like a little pussy? Allow me to extend both my middle fingers in your direction, movie!

Seriously, I'm not trying to downplay a horrible tragedy or anything but this is just so poorly done, and the movie just throws it at us without trying at all to make us care what happened.

So then he finds out he has to go see his uncle Lou, who’s played by the same actor because they were too cheap to get anybody else, and blah, blah, blah, it’s all very boring and dated-90s-like. It’s mostly just incredibly silly and ridiculous. It’s the antithesis of anything resembling captivating film noir. I mean, it’s less gritty and realistic than a game of CLUE.

Then he meets Nic Cage, who has a name but that doesn’t matter anyway; you’ll just call him Nic Cage so who cares? He mumbles a lot, wears a stupid wig and mustache and seems to never take his sunglasses off…so yeah, almost the same character as in The Vampire’s Kiss. He even has a stupid accent again.

Nice porn star disguise Nic.

But to be fair, his character is at least doing something, which is more than can be said for anyone else in this horrendous nonsense. They go to some bar and do stupid stuff and somehow Cage has a really hot girlfriend…yeah, not buying it; sorry movie. No girl would ever date this guy. I’m half expecting throughout this whole thing to discover that Cage’s girlfriend is actually some kind of transvestite, or something. ANYTHING! ANYTHING TO MAKE IT MAKE SENSE!

Then there’s one scene where they swindle a bartender out of some money? Why? Do the bartenders of the world really have too much money to where you have to play Robin Hood and steal from them? Bravo, Cage, you’ve officially become a true anus of a human being.

So yeah then we see even more implausibility when Cage’s girlfriend starts inexplicably flirting with Joe! Why? Just to get the plot to move forward, because when you can’t think of any ideas in your measly head to vomit out, show some sex scenes:

How much money do you think they had to pay her to have sex with this guy? Doesn't really seem worth it to me.

Watching these two pieces of plastic try to have sex is almost as bad as watching them try to act. I can’t think of anything less arousing short of, well, watching Nicolas Cage and the girl do it. Eugh.

But Cage almost gets killed in a bar after doing some coke, comes home and almost kills her. These scenes are some of the most entertaining in the movie, which really just means they don’t make you want to gouge out your eyes watching them. But Cage is very entertaining, with a truly over the top and insane performance that you can tell he had fun with. I mean, the rest of the movie is so glaringly awful, he probably knew it, and just decided to throw care to the wind and give the most ridiculous performance he could muster. He just didn’t give a crap. At one point he’s literally just shouting gibberish; no actual words at all.

That's his 'I just ate a really sour lollypop' look.

She throws him out, so his next logical path is go to find his employer Uncle Lou, tie him up and threaten to kill him with boiling hot water. He almost does, but then Joe comes in and kills Cage by shoving his face into the boiling water instead. No. No, movie; you can’t do that. YOU CAN’T KILL OFF THE ONLY CHARACTER MAKING THIS MOVIE ENTERTAINING! My heart has been broken. We still have 40 minutes of this to sit through and now the only character making it easier is dead?! What kind of sick bastards created this?

Oh. Oh yeah…well, the only proper thing to do is stop the movie and hold a funeral for Nicolas Cage. Proceed:

OK, now that we’re done with that, let’s go to the bar for drinks.

Now we can…wait, what do you mean I have to finish the review? Haven’t I suffered enough already in the name of entertaining the masses today?!  Well damn. Guess I might as well; I mean what else am I going to do tonight? Go out and have a life?

The movie continues with some awful scenes that try to be deep and serious film noir but mostly just come off as a big fat joke, as Joe narrates some more in a tone of voice that would better fit a children’s elementary school book reading session. Truly this is what Robert DeNiro aspired to when he made Casino, right? This narration is about as credible as Roger Rabbit narrating over Dark City would be.

Joe goes to meet Charlie Sheen, another human sewer-slime who Christopher Coppola dredged up to be in this movie. Sheen mostly talks in a low, almost unintelligible monotone, and treats us to long, agonizing scenes of the two of them playing the world’s most boring game of billiards ever. We never see him in the movie again, and so I mostly just wonder WHAT THE HELL THE POINT WAS. GOD. THIS MOVIE IS LIKE SITTING THROUGH THE INSANE RAMBLINGS OF A BRAINDEAD MENTAL PATIENT WHO JUST WATCHED A MARATHON OF OLD CRIME MOVIES. It’s asinine!

Some more stuff happens, it’s revealed that Joe’s father never died and the whole thing was an incredibly contrived set-up that could have easily gone wrong at any time, and the whole thing ends on a whimper with more of that ear-raping narration. Oh what a treat. This movie is so bad that I can’t even accurately sum up how bad it is. No insults I could make up would really describe it. This is so terrible, so lacking in plot or any kind of good characters or atmosphere, and so wrongheaded that all I can do is just…sacrifice it to the God Nicolas Cage, who sits upon his throne still, laughing at all of us mere mortals. Let this crap burn forever in the fires of Cage’s wrath and greatness, and let it never again tarnish our Earthly plane!