Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde are Addison and Liza, a brother-and-sister crime wave fresh off a successful casino heist. In the opening minutes of the film their getaway car loses control, crashing on an icy roadway. After Addison kills a state trooper who stops to help the pair decide to split up and meet later to escape over the Canadian border. Liza connects with a parolee Jay (Charlie Hunnam) on his way home for Thanksgiving dinner with mother June (Sissy Spacek), and father Chet (Kris Kristofferson). On the run, Addison hides out in a hunting cabin before the police catch up to him, forcing him to move along toward a protracted climax.
There are some nice moments of tension in “Deadfall.” Bana’s overly polite—“Serve the pie please June.”—but psychotic take on Addison lends some menace to the story but his good work is undone by a predictable script that relies on convenient and unbelievable coincidences to tell the story. Add to that a (possibly) incestuous relationship, daddy issues galore and an unconvincing love story and you’ll wish the Coen Brothers had been free to edit this script before it went to camera.
Also, there will be no spoilers here, but let’s just say if you are looking for the chance to see the entire cast in one place, brought together by coincidence, you’ll get it.
The photography, however is as gorgeous as the story is lackluster. You’ll feel the chill in your bones watching the harsh winter landscape portrayed so beautifully.
“Deadfall” feels incomplete, like a missed opportunity. Bana’s a good bad guy but he deserves a better story than this.