Certain Movies every man should see, some he should know by heart. These are the movies we’ll be featuring in the Proud Boy Movie Club. Some films will be new to some of us, some we’ve seen a dozen times. Either way you’re encouraged to watch or take the opportunity to re-watch these films every man should know. All Proud Boys can follow the films week to week here and discus and post thoughts, questions and comments in the Proud Boys Facebook Group.
This week’s Movie Club: FALLING DOWN
Rating: R (for violence and strong language.)
Genre: Action & Adventure , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By: Joel Schumacher
Written By: Ebbe Roe Smith
In Theaters: Feb 26, 1993 wide
Runtime: 112 minutes
Before we get started, I disavow!! I disavow many of the actions of the fictitious Michael Douglas character. If you get fired, don’t leave your car in traffic and stalk your ex-wife while going from escalating confrontation to escalating confrontation. Don’t fire a rocket launcher on the highway. No fire a machine gun in a fast food restaurant cause the real burger doesn’t look as good as the one in the picture. Disavow!!!!! Now…..
Falling Down is not a film that would be made today. It should be treasured as a relic of free speech from some bygone era (1993) where minorities in movies could be portrayed as assholes, thugs, and provocateurs without having a heart of gold. The film stars Michael Douglas (D-Fens) as a white guy; a dad in a shirt and tie, who just lost his job who snaps one day sitting in traffic during a heat wave and begins an interest in guns. What this movie does is ask the question “When the average suburban dad has had enough, what would happen if he no longer had a filter and didn’t put up with the indignities, annoyances, and outright provocation he encounters on a daily basis?”.
Falling Down is an allegory for a Proud Boy living in modern society. On D-Fens’s way to see his daughter on her birthday, laid off and at the end of his rope, he runs into a gauntlet of accurate stereotypes we aren’t allowed to talk about. Angry Korean store owners, Latino gang members, gays in tank tops, a black guy demanding free shit, unnecessary union crews all get put in his way through his route. Through a coarse of follies and whacky mishaps, he acquires a bag of weapons which he incorporates into what becomes a traveling observation comedy routine involving firearms. It’s up to a conflicted Robert Duvall (who’s better than him?) to stop him.
The part that locks D-Fens in as a Proud Boy is when Duvall’s detective character has him trapped, and confused he asks the detective, “…I’m the bad guy?!”
D-fens is not like most white males portrayed in films today, he complicated. He’s a put upon working man, with opinions, ideas, and a family, and he decides one day (in the most extreme exaggeration of a violent rampage) he isn’t going to put up with it today, and he won’t be coddling every last special interest group with all their preconceived ideas about him. There’s a scene in an army surplus store where he runs into a real, militant, racist. Douglas’s character lets this person know they are not the same, leaving no doubt he in grounded in a complex world view and is being driven mad by ideas once considered “common sense” and not a run of the mill, racist caricature.
Considering Joel Schumacher (Yes, the gentleman who made Batman & Robin) actually created a movie where you sympathize with an active shooter, I believe it’s safe to say nothing like this will be made for a long time. It’s difficult to relate to any maniac with a gun, but I think every Proud Boy who has been screamed at on social media, called “racist” for pointing out mundane observations, or who just wants to be left alone sometimes, can see themselves in this movie. Doesn’t every Proud Boy ask at least once an argument, “Wait…. I’m the bad guy?!”.