Falling Down

A car jam on a hot, sweaty day.

Falling Down

(1994)

Directed by Joel Schumacher
Starring Michael Douglas, Robert Duvall, Barbara Hershey, Rachel Ticotin, Tuesday Weld

Rating: ******
              6/6

“I’m going home.”

Ace in The Hole is a Kirk Douglas film
Of great critical renown.
Forty years later, Michael Douglas, his son,
Would star in Falling Down.

Both films have the distinction
Of being impossible to forget.
They’re cinematic masterpieces
That will still be watched in the future, I’ll bet.

Robert Duvall as the cop.

Falling Down begins with a line,
A long line of automobiles.
There’s a traffic jam in the hot morning sun,
Preventing the shoppers from reaching their deals,

And the workers from reaching their jobs,
And the tourists from seeing the sights,
And the deliverymen from serving fresh food.
Everyone’s in the same plight.

A strange store.

One of these men is a middle-aged man,
Wearing glasses, short hair and clean shirt.
He’s played by Michael Douglas,
And his angry eyes are alert.

He’s sitting in a car, swatting a fly
And he suddenly just up and leaves.
He’s sick of the futility of waiting,
So, he takes his briefcase while everyone grieves.

The Korean man.

He starts walking, and decides that he wanted
To call someone from a pay phone.
He lacks all the change, so he enters a store,
And sees a man manning the store all alone.

He asks for some change, but the man waves him off,
And insists that he buys something first.
He picks up a Coke and he asks for the price,
And his luck gets a little bit worse.

“Your prices are too high.”

The price is too high. He has the prices jacked up,
To scalp everyone who comes in.
This raises the ire of the visiting man,
Who isn’t about to give in.

He shouts at the man, refuses to leave,
And the Korean man picks up a bat.
He attempts to attack Kirk Douglas’ son,
And gets a kick in his stomach so fat.

The Korean stars to panic, saying, “Take what you want!”
He’s calling Mike Douglas a thief.
That makes him more angry, so he shouts at him back.
He calls the store owner a thief.

“I’m not going.”

He starts smashing his stock with the bat he just took,
Asking the price of each item.
Not liking the answers, he smashes them some more,
Till the man sells a cheaper Coke to him.

With change in his pocket, the man makes a call
To his ex-wife to tell her he’s coming.
She starts to get scared and she puts her phone down,
And he hears the dead line begin humming.

“You’re the thief.”

Those are the first of his adventures,
But his day has just begun.
Before the sunset darkens the town,
He will own a bag full of guns.

This former law-abiding man
Will be sought-after by the Law.
His ex-wife will try to run from him,
But he’ll catch up to her after all.

Rachel Ticotin, on Earth.

This is more than just a plot-driven film.
It reflects on America’s ills.
It shows the decay of that once great place,
And the misfortune that spreads as it will.

I’m giving this film a six out of six,
For it has deserved every star.
This film will live on for the next hundred years.
This great drama has risen the bar.

“I’m not giving you any money!”

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