Deadfall 2012 Movie Scene Eric Bana as Addison holding a shotgun

Deadfall [2012]

Do you like snow movies? Because I fucking love them! I don’t know if it’s the years of watching The Thing or something else but I guess I have a fetish now. What I thought was going to be a pale copy of No Country for Old Men or Fargo, turned out to be something else. Something much, much better. Deadfall is a gripping and atmospheric heist thriller doubling as a family drama. It’s about a brother and sister who are on the run from the authorities after a successful robbery. They decide to escape to Canada of all places but this is where things start to go wrong for them. One bad decision will lead to another, and you already know how this thing goes. 

The first thing that you’re going to notice about this movie is the immersive atmosphere. That atmosphere is accompanied by mesmerizing visuals. Deadfall was filmed in Quebec and Montreal, Canada and it took full advantage of these picturesque locations. I mean, it was really cool to watch them from the comfort of my warm home. I’m sure that the temperatures were below freezing all the time during the production. Actually, Olivia Wilde’s first scene called for her to be in a miniskirt in the middle of a snow blizzard. She’s so pretty that I think I fell in love with her during the first thirty minutes of this movie. It’s the eyes, I could stare into those eyes for days on end.

Not to come off as too much of a creeper, I’ll just say that I admire her from afar and leave it at that. Apart from her, we also have the sturdy Eric Bana giving another solid performance. And to balance things out, Charlie Hunnam from Sons of Anarchy is also here. So, there’s something for everybody. And it’s always a pleasure to see a couple of veterans like Kris Kristofferson (Blade) and Treat Williams (Deep Rising) in action. Deadfall has all the makings of a neo-noir thriller complete with a dark and ominous undercurrent constantly injecting the atmosphere with realistic twists. The first one comes not five minutes in.

Apart from the classic post-heist crime main story, we will also delve into philosophical questions. Morality, mortality, love, and family are on the menu. Writer Zach Dean came up with the story while the airplane he was in was trying to make a risky landing. I guess that’s the time when you start thinking about the important stuff. And don’t worry, there won’t be any pretentious overtones here. Not under the tight direction of the German director Stefan Ruzowitzky. I remember watching his first big hit, Anatomy back in the early 2000s. It’s a quite refreshing and macabre slasher, so be sure to give it a go if that’s your cup of tea.

The pacing here is just right, not too fast and not too slow. And since we will get a lot of visually alluring scenes that sometimes just hang in the air punctuating the mood, nothing needs to happen for this movie to get interesting. Granted, there might be a bit too many subplots here but I think that the impactful finale takes care of that quite efficiently. I just love these quiet little neo-noir crime thrillers that seemingly come out of nowhere. They’re not trying to be big or small, they’re just trying to tell a story that might resonate with you. And if doesn’t, there’s always the main heist/crime plot to keep you watching.

Additionally, every ten to fifteen minutes someone gets shot and we get another twist in the story. You simply can’t tell where the story is going and how it’s going to end. Granted, our main characters are not so likable so you might not care about what happens to them. And yet they offer an authentic snapshot of a life of crime. If you’re looking for similar movies do check out Wind River and Hell or High Water

Director: Stefan Ruzowitzky

Writer: Zach Dean

Cast: Eric Bana, Olivia Wilde, Charlie Hunnam, Kris Kristofferson, Sissy Spacek, Treat Williams, Kate Mara

Fun Facts: The development of the movie began back in 2005 when Zach Dean first came up with the script. It was finally shot in 2012 on a $12 million budget.


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