Free Fall Blu-Ray Review
I’ve never been stuck in an elevator nor would I ever want to be. It’s not that I’m claustrophobic, but I have the concern most would about being stuck in an elevator, that worry about how long I’d be stuck within that metal confinement with no comfortable place to sit. It’d be like waiting in a doctor’s office with no cushy seating or magazines to read. I imagine that kind of predicament is mind numbingly boring, but if you ever want to simulate such a horrid experience, I recommend you watch FREE FALL.
Is there a plot? Yes. But someone needs to notify the writers that a hostage movie that cages its characters in an everyday place needs some meatier pieces to add any real tension or thrill. First we need to at least be somewhat involved in the characters. This requires subtle hints of our hero’s personality and on the other end, some decent acting that makes the peril believable. Remember the movie PHONE BOOTH? That’s a perfect example of a well-executed psychological thriller stuck with its main man imprisoned in a urban cage.
FREE FALL attempts to establish the main character, Jane (Butler), by showing her distraught over the recent suicide of one of her co-workers even though we don’t know why she’s upset or why we would even be remotely upset over this man’s death. Then there’s the subplot surrounding Jane’s partner, where she’s slightly concerned about infidelity, but once again. We don’t really know this guy or know why we should care about her love life. In fact it’s a bit odd that we should share her concerns since their relationship appears to be going swimmingly.
Meanwhile, at the office, it’s just another day except for the fact that Jane’s friend leaped to his death. It’s not all bad, Jane is offered that co-worker’s position and immediately becomes suspicious; I guess because she thinks she’s a bad employee and doesn’t deserve a promotion. After some unexplained hunches and sleuthing, she discovers some fraudulent activity by the company boss Mr. Gault, played by Malcolm McDowell. You might be asking yourself if the acting prowess of McDowell ever rubbed off on anyone else, but I’m afraid not. It’s clear McDowell cashed this check before reading the script.
Mr. Gault doesn’t have much screen time so it’s back to the story of Jane. She notifies her co-worker Frank (Ian Gomez) who then through no shock to the audience, calls in an assassin to handle the female interloper. I guess Frank isn’t paid enough to dispose of Jane himself. The assassin arrives to an automatically weary Jane who instinctively runs from the assassin. Luckily for Jane, but not for us, she escapes the clutches of the assassin and hides in the sky rise elevator for the next 50 mind numbing minutes.
There’s no passion or interest by anyone in this movie. I stated earlier, it appears McDowell showed up and read what he was giving. A few times, it looks like he may have been wondering what he would eat for lunch that day. Everyone other actor appears to be improving facial expressions and acting like it’s the opening night of a middle school play. I don’t blame them though. Half the lines are contrived and unintentionally hokey. If this movie was remotely aware of how bad it was, it could actually become a well-made farce.
The secrets Jane learns and the eventual outcome are no surprise. It’s a failed social commentary on capitalism that an angry high school student who’s listened to too much Dead Kennedy’s might write. FREE FALL constantly finds itself grasping at imaginary straws; trying to find a message within its own unintelligible words. If Dante Alighieri was alive today, I’m sure the final circle of hell in DANTE’S INFERNO would be stuck in an elevator, watching FREE FALL.
Video: (1080p Widescreen 2:39:1) The cheap production and bad acting is on full display with this crystal clear presentation. At least there’s no problems with the clarity.
Audio: (English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) This movie balances the audio of action and the cheesy dimestore soundtrack together well. Nothing out of the ordinary in terms of presentation.
FREE FALL: Behind the Scenes (25:06): Nothing is more mentally exhausting than having to endure a bad movie. What might actually be worse is spending 25 minutes (a third of the length of the movie) watching how they made this. The interviews with the director and actors are poorly lit, horrendously recorded, and both those tones match the general interest of how much each one of these people actually care about this movie. They sound like they’re talking about FREE FALL as a stamp collector would talk about his collection, a mix of shame and regret. But if you somehow liked this movie, it’s very in-depth and you’ll enjoy it.