Falling Down

Falling Down:  How pissed have you been when you missed McDonald’s breakfast?

Movies where people lose their shit are guilty pleasures of mine. There are several films where there are amazing freak outs, but Falling Down devotes an entire movie to Michael Douglas rolling around in it. It is the story of a man out of his time getting pushed out by an apathetic society and lashes out at everything in the most irresponsible way possible while trying to get to his daughter’s birthday. Its fucking great.


"This looks like Fat Albert sat this fucking thing. You see, it's shit like this, Rick that makes everyone go to Wendys."

Foster is a man who just can’t take it anymore. Angry, disgusted, and in disbelief that the world, and more importantly, his family rejected him, Foster walks away from his car in the middle of a traffic jam. This pisses off some people around him, but he has run out of fucks to give. The rest of the movie we see him lose his shit in the best way over things like the price of soda, missing out on fast food breakfast, and traffic construction. Tracking him down on his last day towards retirement with the police is Predergast who seems to be perfectly content with life constantly shitting on him. Foster is slowly making his way to his daughter’s birthday where his estranged wife is understandably terrified of seeing him again as Predergast closes in. By the time both meet, some hard lessons about life will be learned by both of them.

Have you been stuck in traffic for an hour? Perfectly. Rational.

How many times have you just wanted to lose your shit on someone and something in your life, but because of the rules that society puts around you, you don’t. Foster is ultimately tired of it and just keeps walking past it all as the rampage builds bigger steam. Pissed off about convenience store prices, gang turf, freeloaders, racists, never-ending construction? Foster walks right past acceptable responses and goes for the throat. In one scene we have him going to a Wally Burger hoping to grab some breakfast. He is late by a few minutes as announced by a gum-chewing and indifferent Sheila at the register. Tension gets built as the manager is called over and is equally indifferent when Foster insists that the customer is always right. Anyone else would have walked or just ordered lunch. Foster instead pulls a Tec-9. Why? Because, “Fuck you.”, that’s why. It’s completely wrong and out of touch with normal society, but we can’t help but look in awe and secret admiration.

"A snowglobe that plays "London Bridge is falling down"? That's about as crazy as a skinhead in LA!"

As a kid, I was confused with the ending. Why are you going to build up Foster’s antics but have the tone change radically when he was killed? I thought he was supposed to be the hero. He was the guy that couldn’t take it anymore sticking it to the fuckers that deserved it. Now, as an adult, I get it. Foster and Predergast’s lives mirror each other under constant pressure around them. Foster, unable to cope with the world around him lashes out and goes on his fun filled irresponsible rampage. Predergast is the cop is great at coping with the situations to the point where he has become the punching bag of the department. When the two finally meet, they serve as catalysts for each other in understanding their lives. Predergast finally understands that you can deal with things without being a bitch and Foster shocked to learn that he was “the bad guy” the entire time. Was Foster really the villain? Yeah, and even a victim from the society that rejected him. Maybe shooting a rocket launcher at lazy construction workers is the wrong way to deal with your frustration with road work, but it’s what makes Foster a secret hero of mine.