Despite having too many irritating coincidences, 'Deadfall' is a well-crafted crime drama
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
A well-crafted crime drama that is bogged down with too many characters, this thriller by Stefan Ruzowitzky, who won a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar for 'The Counterfeiters' in 2008, does have some suspenseful moments and decent action scenes.
The plot is pretty straightforward: Siblings Addison (Eric Bana) and Liza (Olivia Wilde) are on the run from a casino heist gone wrong. When a car accident leaves their wheel man and a state trooper dead, they split up and make a run for the Canadian border in the worst of circumstances – a near whiteout blizzard.
Bana, long absent from screens, plays Addison, an unpredictable killer with his own moral code. There is a suggestion of an incestuous relationship with his sister Liza, played by the red-hot Wilde.
Wilde, who is still struggling to establish herself, is great eye candy, particularly in the start of the movie when she walks around in a miniskirt despite being in a blizzard, and does show off some acting chops. ‘Sons of Anarchy's’ Charlie Hunnam is serviceable as Jay, a boxer who has a steamy relationship with Liza after crossing paths with her.
There are another half dozen characters that feature prominently in the story, but Ruzowitzky should have just focused more on the key trio. There are some decent action scenes, such as a snow mobile chase and a brutal fight between Addison and an Indian chief, that make the final confrontation come across as a bit of an anti-climax and a tad predictable.
Bana's performance and that of the rest of the cast, including veterans Sissy Spacek and Kris Kristofferson, lifts the film up a notch above similar fare. Even if some of the moments are bit too coincidental, ‘Deadfall’ is a noir-ish thriller done with style and plenty of whiteout.