The JOE-DOWN Reviews ‘Deadfall’

This is an installment for a series on this blog where Joe Brown, Sports Editor for the Red Wing Republican Eagle, and I have a back-and-forth review of a movie. We will take turns selecting a movie — any movie we want — and review it here. And this is Nic Cage Month! For this installment, we picked “Deadfall.”

The info:

The Movie: “Deadfall”

Starring: Michael Biehn, Sarah Trigger, Nicolas Cage

Director: Christopher Coppola

Plot Summary: (From IMDB) After he accidentally kills his father, Mike, during a sting, Joe tries to carry out Mike’s dying wish by recovering valuables that Mike’s twin brother Lou stole from him years earlier.

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 0 percent

Our take:

Brown: Ready for insanity, folks?

So far in Nic Cage Month (aka Cageapalooza), we’ve had our hero become John Travolta (and Travolta become Cage) in “Face/Off.” Then last week, Cage became cinema’s worst cop before becoming the world’s punchiest bear in “The Wicker Man.”

In fact, I need to see the bear punch one more time.

But “Deadfall,” pound-for-pound, may top them all.

Now, I had never heard of this movie, and judging by the fact it made only $18,000 in the box office, few have heard of it. The way I came across it was by watching those “Nic Cage freaks out” montages on YouTube and thought “What movie does Cage have that insane mustache?”

That answer led us here.

So Froemming, it’s been about a month since we saw this movie. Have you fully recovered from Cage’s craziness yet?

Froemming: I’m still having flashbacks, mostly from this film, of Nic Cage using every accent in the world in one film. This film. I had also never heard of it, and there is a great reason for that. Nic Cage is the only entertaining aspect of this movie. SPOILER: After his character meets his grisly end via deep fryer (yes, we will get to that) you and I really had to make an effort to finish this otherwise boring movie.

Why don’t you get this started as I pick fights with strangers at a strip club.

Brown: Yeah, this movie sucks once Cage is out, so I’m going to touch upon the non-Cage stuff right now.

  • Joe (Biehn) is a con man, just like his dad. And during a con with his dad, Joe kills his dad because he thought there were blanks in the gun and not live rounds. Yes, this movie pulls a Jason Lee in “The Crow,” or a “Child’s Play III” is you really enjoy terrible movies.
  • Joe visits his estranged uncle Lou (who is played by James Coburn, who also plays the dad. Only, gray wig!) to fulfill his dad’s dying wish of getting some valuables back from Lou.
  • Joe has a sexual relationship with Diane (Trigger), which (of course) complicates things.
  • Charlie Sheen (!!) is here for some reason. I don’t remember why.
  • Turns out, Joe’s dad isn’t dead and we get the most convoluted “Usual Suspects” (REDACTED) ending to a movie.

I’m OK if you only glance at that part because NOW, we’re getting to the meat of this (REDACTED) sandwich.

Froemming, let’s meet Eddie King.

Froemming: Joe is minding his business at a cafe when we suddenly hear what sounds like Al Pacino in “Scarface” and we see it is Cage — with a mustache, Phil Spector sunglasses and a Beatle wig — demand that Joe pick a card from a deck he has in his hands.

It is the weirdest (REDACTED) intro of a character I have ever seen. I am currently playing the greatest hits of Cage from this film as we write this, and I am laughing so hard at times, I have tears running down my face.

Brown: How can you describe Eddie’s accent in this movie? Cage doesn’t exactly pick one, and when Cage tries to stay consistent, he sounds like Clint Eastwood with marbles in his mouth.

And then, there are the outbursts. I wish I could post that greatest hits video but it’s most definitely NSFW.

Also, should mention that in the start of this movie, Eddie and Diane are an item and it was uncomfortable to see them kiss. I honestly think Eddie was trying to eat Diane’s soul.

Froemming: It should be noted that Cage came to set in his own costume and his own ideas for the character, and the director (his brother) just let him do whatever the (REDACTED) he wanted.

Brown: After watching this performance, it’s clear that Nic hates his brother, right? The only thing giving an A-effort in this movie is Nic’s vocal chords with how much he screams.

Froemming: Nic Cage went full cocaine in this movie. You should never go full cocaine.

New in town, Joe meets up with his uncle Lou, which is just his dad in a bad wig, and Eddie is there as well, popping pills and looking very, very confused by what is going on. I couldn’t pay attention to the plot when Eddie was in the scene because I was mesmerized by the insanity, screaming and various accents coming out of Cage’s mouth.

Brown: Well, when Joe goes on a car ride with Eddie and Diane, you see immediately that Eddie has some sort of Tourettes or is just prone to the most violent, explicit-laden outbursts that no doctor could properly diagnose.

Eddie is a henchmen for uncle Lou. Advice to Lou: If you are watching your main hench popping pills and screaming at random volumes, I would probably take him off the payroll. Then again, someone like that, it’s probably better to have on your side than against you. That’s the only explanation for Eddie’s employment.

So, with Joe trying to help his uncle, Eddie tests him by having him shake down someone at a strip club. Froemming, you wanna run us through that part?

Froemming: Basically Eddie is testing Joe here, and we see that Joe is able to get the debt owned by the folks here without causing a scene. The crazy part comes later, when Eddie is getting hammered and watching naked ladies dance that he finds out Joe cleaned their debt by tricking him into thinking they paid. Joe paid their debt.

This leads to Eddie screaming at random volumes at people at various tables minding their own business. It also leads to some poor schmuck walking into the place to get a vicious beatdown from Eddie. I felt embarrassed for that guy. I mean, getting your ass handed to you by a man who looks like this:

That has to bruise the ego a bit.

Brown: Well, he makes himself feel better by slashing a man’s throat for no reason other than the guy was a smartass and said he was working for “Sam (REDACTED) Peckinpah.”

Now, in order to advance Eddie’s insanity, we have Diane flirting with Joe all the damn time, which means they start hooking up in the most uncomfortable sex scene I’ve seen in a long time. It lasts entirely too long and shows them in a lot of unsexy positions like the puppets in “Team America: World Police.”

However, that movie was a comedy. “Deadfall” is funny for all the wrong reasons.

Froemming: Also, it was almost more awkward than Tommy Wiseau humping an actress’ belly in “The Room.” But nothing will ever be that awkward. Ever.

After slashing a man’s throat for being in the wrong place at the wrong time I guess, we get the greatest Cage performance I have ever seen. Nothing the man has done since will ever top this moment. NSFW

Best line to me:

Diane: Who’s trying to kill you, Eddie?

Eddie: The (REDACTED) hangers!

Brown: I think when Eddie was flopping on the bed, he impregnated it.

Froemming: It is at this moment we here at the JOE-DOWN would like to remind our readers that Nicolas Cage won an Academy Award two years after this for “Leaving Las Vegas.”

Brown: Also, “Viva la (REDACTED) France, man!” What the hell does that mean?

And your right. Cage did win an Academy Award two years later. How many movies was he in between this and “Leaving Las Vegas?” Five. Five movies in a two-year span.

Shirley in “Community” was right: If I was in 70 films over 30 years and spent each one talking at random volumes, I might accidently win an Oscar.

So, Eddie is on the warpath and is on his way to kill Lou. He puts a gun to his boss and makes him pick a (REDACTED) card because he’s The Joker but (somehow) CRAZIER.

Froemming: He even demands that Lou show him the joker card. I think Warner Bros. really dropped the ball on not hiring Cage to play the Joker in the new DC films.

Brown: I’m still hoping we see that “Death of Superman” movie Tim Burton was supposed to do, starring Nic Cage as the Man of Steel.

Froemming: There is actually a good documentary on that called “The Death of Superman Lives.” Check it out.

Now, lost in the madness of Cage being a (REDACTED) lunatic is the unsettling instances of hearing Lou use the word “man.” He sounds like an undercover narc from a 1960s anti-drug movie. Hearing a 60-year-old man try to sound hip is like hearing your parents try to rap. It shouldn’t happen.

Now we head to the Autumn Hours of Eddie’s life on this crazy blue ball we all live on. Take it away, Brown.

Brown: Well, because Eddie is threatening the life of his uncle, Joe is there to defend his family. And in the midst of all this madness, Joe and Eddie fight in a restaurant kitchen. As Eddie tries choking out Joe, there is a deep fryer boiling over to the right of the screen. In an attempt to get Eddie off of him, Joe ends up pulling off Eddie’s wig.

I’d like to think that Eddie’s straight anger “Mother (REDACTED)” was Cage breaking character and being legit angry at Michael Biehn for yanking off his hair piece.

Well, Joe’s our hero, so he finally gains control and ends Eddie’s life by dipping his head into the deep fryer.

The only entertaining part of this terrible, terrible movie meets the same fate as a wonton. Which makes sense because I think Eddie’s brain was like cream cheese after all the coke I assume that character did.

Goodnight, sweet prince.

Froemming: Yeah, the blow the “character” did.

Well, that was a shocking way to end this film, let’s head over to recommendations….wait, this was only half the (REDACTED) movie.

Brown: Yep. I mean, there’s things here and there that could be talking points. Like, remember that Micky Dolenz from The Monkees is in this movie?! Or, how some guy at the end of the movie has scissors/the Jaws of Life as hands?

Froemming: I didn’t until now. Thanks a lot, you jerk.

But yes, there is a weird sci-fi element to a crime boss that Joe and Lou are planning on ripping off in a con. He has robot hands. We also get Charlie Sheen playing pool and looking like Lucifer. And yes, there is a Monkee in this film for some reason.

But my heart went out of it the moment Eddie’s face turned into a Deadite from “The Evil Dead.”

Brown: Here’s a visual representation of the nosedive this movie takes after Cage’s character dies.

And on that, let’s pull our heads out of the fryer and into recommendations.

WOULD YOU RECOMMEND?

Brown: Absolutely not. Watch Cage’s best moments on YouTube. That’s all you need. Other than Cage, this is an awful film noir.

Froemming: This will be a hard no. Nope. This movie is awful and probably the reason we never saw Michael Biehn in a film ever since.

Here is what’s coming up for the next Joe-Down: