Runtime: 110 Mins
What To Expect: A movie that starts out looking enticingly almost like Breaking Bad, only to implode and screw it up
In this movie, a middle class family man runs into financial difficulty, having problems paying off the remainder of his mortgage. Therefore a chance incident leads him down a path of criminality in an attempt to pay off his bills and ease his financial situation. Thus timid Bill Scanlon, played by Wes Bentley, finds that a gun can serve him even if it isn’t strictly legal (at all). It sounds like a good manly movie premise and indeed it is. Breaking Bad used this sort of thing to monstrous success, Assault On Wall Street did something similar, antagonizing people perhaps slightly too far. After The Fall, also known as ‘The Things People Do’ however can’t quite get it right.
The most interesting character here is Frank McTiernan, a burned out cop played by Jason Isaacs, who is the best actor in this feature. He befriends Scanlon while Scanlon is acting out a crime wave. It’s an interesting dynamic and the only real ‘working’ part of the movie. The rest of it is pretty much botched, in the third act the movie practically comes to a standstill.
The biggest problem with the movie is that Bill Scanlon must be the most idiotic criminal ever. The man decides to start committing armed robberies yet makes the most stupid mistakes, such as revealing his face, wearing the same clothes to the same establishments as a civilian and a robber, in the same day. He also robs the same isolated area, where everyone is familiar with him. His skills as a criminal do not evolve either, it’s incredible that the police are unable to even single him out as a suspect. Our intelligence as viewers is insulted. Our attention is tested too, when the movie meanders through its final half hour of a movie that is half an hour too long.
The first half is kind of okay. Hell, if it remained that interesting it might even be a 7/10 movie. You normally see Isaacs in unique and interesting movies that this looked like. But man does it unravel. And become depressing. It’s like Breaking Bad without the humour, wit or guile. A misfire. Avoid.