Deadfall, an entertainingly nasty diversion about brother and sister ne'er-do-wells on the lam in the wintry hinterlands of upper Michigan, is a few weeks late getting to Philadelphia.
Painted in blizzard white, blood red, and the shocking blue eyes of femme fatale Olivia Wilde, this pulpy thriller takes place on Thanksgiving eve and Thanksgiving Day. There's even a nice big Thanksgiving meal, with a crazed killer, a prize fighter just out of jail, a sheriff's deputy, and the aforementioned Ms. Wilde and Sissy Spacek and Kris Kristofferson assembled around a farm table, ready to carve into a goose and a homemade pie.
It's a heartwarming scene of simple folk, full of gratitude and good cheer. So what if there's a sawed-off shotgun lined up alongside one of the guests' cutlery?
That would be Addison (Eric Bana), fresh from a casino heist with his baby sister Liza (Wilde), and now, unfortunately, wanted by the law for mowing down a state trooper and a few other folks, too. Addison and Liza's relationship isn't altogether wholesome, and when the two become separated, she hitches a ride with Jay (Charlie Hunnam, from Sons of Anarchy), a moody pugilist (and estranged son to Kristofferson and Spacek's couple). Somehow, Liza and Jay end up together in a motel. And somehow Addison isn't happy about that.
Directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky (The Counterfeiters), an Austrian who knows his way around noir, Deadfall is fast and fatalistic and, in keeping with its Thanksgiving theme, populated by characters shaped by relationships with their kin: a daughter dominated by her unpleasant dad, an abusive stepfather who gets his comeuppance, and the sibling protagonists, Addison and Liza, whose love isn't exclusively filial, but may well prove fatal.
On to Christmas!