Directed By: Stefan Ruzowitzky

Starring: Eric Bana, Olivia Wilde, Charlie Hunnam, Kate Mara, Treat Williams, Kris Kristofferson, and Sissy Spacek

We're in this annual post-Thanksgiving slump at the box office.  All studios want to capitalize on the holidays, so releases are clustered around Turkey Day and Christmas.  Between the holidays, we're stuck with several weekends of nothingness.  Last year, it was something we just witnessed at mainstream theaters.  This year, however, the slump is impacting the indie marketplace as well because all I've got to talk about this weekend is Stefan Ruzowitzky’s flick Deadfall.  That's not saying much at all.

Addison (Eric Bana) and his sister Liza (Olivia Wilde) are on the run from a casino heist gone awry.  When they end up in a car accident in which their driver is killed, a Michigan state trooper arrives on the scene to help them out.  With his itchy trigger finger, Addison quickly murders that cop.  Soon after, Addison and Liza split up, flee the scene of the crime, and try to make their way to the Canadian border in the midst of a rough blizzard.  Addison tells Liza to use her charms and hitchhike her way to where she needs to go.  Addison, on the other hand, leaves a bloody trail through Michigan on his way to the border.

Ex-boxer and ex-convict Jay (Charlie Hunnam) has just been released from prison after serving time for throwing a match.  He is on his way to spend Thanksgiving with his parents Chet (Kris Kristofferson) and June (Sissy Spacek) in northern Michigan.  Before he leaves Detroit though, Jay goes to visit his former coach to claim his portion of the money for throwing the fight.  The conversation gets heated, and things get physical between the two.  Ultimately, Jay flees the scene and heads for his parents' home.  Along the way, he picks up a hitchhiker, Liza.

Deadfall is a funny little crime thriller that could have been something much more.  For a movie that should be a fairly basic thriller, we get quite a bit of wit and some decent action sequences.  What we lack are strong performances from the actors and the guiding hand of a more skilled director than Stefan Ruzowitzky.  With the exception of Eric Bana, the actors deliver horrendous performances that lack any emotion or depth whatsoever.  Beyond Bana's character Addison, the film is pretty bland.  For this, I blame Ruzowitzky, who does nothing to make the film interesting or thrilling. 

Deadfall is surprisingly hilarious.  I found myself laughing quite a bit during this flick, mostly thanks to the ridiculous nature of Eric Bana's Addison.  He may be no angel coming down from the storm, but he's one sick comedian at the Thanksgiving dinner table at this farmhouse in northern Michigan.  How often do captors break bread and have some red wine with their captives?  With a slice of pumpkin pie in one hand and a shotgun in the other, Bana plays a deliciously evil villain and keeps the laughs coming.  At other times, the film is laughably bad with abominable performances, particularly from the limited Charlie Hunnam and Kris Kristofferson.

It's a tough time at the box office my friends, and Deadfall is emblematic of this struggle.  It's unfortunate though because Deadfall has some solid material that could have been much more.  The screenplay certainly has some potential, but the delivery of the film is mediocre at best.  It's an unnecessarily dull film rife with bad acting and poor directing.  Deadfall gets a 0.09% rating.  Have some eggnog with this one.  Don't forget the bourbon, rum, brandy, or whatever liquor you drink with your eggnog.