The Michael Douglas character blows his fuse in Falling Down because he had to listen to the inane commentary track on Falling Down Deluxe Edition. This aside, Falling Down is an excellent DVD drama about the death of the American dream and of the ordinary working Joe (if you notice all the people with placards).
In Falling Down Michael Douglas plays middle-class white-collar guy William Foster. Foster, stuck in a traffic jam and in a life that’s not working out as planned, leaves his car and decides to walk home to his wife and kid. As the drama progresses you realize Foster is walking to something that no longer exists. He is accosted by two gang members and through them slowly builds himself an arsenal of weapons with which he takes on all of life’s little irritations.
Robert Duvall plays last-day-on-the-job Detective Martin Prendergast. Lots of jokes are made about it being his last day on the job and what happens to detectives on their last day. This is a wink at an old Hollywood cliché that is reinforced by his looking at a family picture and telling his wife he will be home soon. It turns out Prendergast’s life has also not quite turned out the way he planned.
The Falling Down viewer knows there is a showdown coming between Duvall and Douglas as the tension builds, Foster becomes more and more out of control, and the detective puts all the pieces of the white-collar guy on a spree together.
This DVD works because you care for both the bad guy, Foster, and the good guy, the detective. As a matter of fact, it is hard not to sympathize with Foster and to understand why the little things that set him off do. This movie also has a wickedly dark sense of humor: the nine-year-old kid telling Foster how to use a bazooka is priceless
The Falling Down DVD commentary track with Michael Douglas and director Joel Schumacher hits a new low in waste of time. That it also knowingly spoils the ending of the movie early on is unforgiveable.