Released in 1993, this is a tale of a man who is having a “bad day.”
William (mIchael Douglas) has been faking going to the Defense job he’s been laid off from for some time. He’s only faking it to his monther, as he’s back living with her after his marriage broke up.
Caught in a huge traffic jam is his D-FENS number-plated car, the tension of the need to visit his daughter on her birthday drives him out – out of the car, leavng it in the traffic jam, and setting off to walk to his ex-wife’s place.
His journey and the stready unravelling of his mental state as he fails to deal with the barriers that block his way drive the story forward. Slowly, he emerges as both villian and folk hero as the violence excaltes. An unfortunate cop (Robert Duvall), on his last day before handing in his badge, takes on the job of dealing with the menace.
Douglas is scary, robotic, human and funny all at once. A brilliant performance.
One thing that was really interesting was the different reactions that my wife and I had to the film, and in particular to William. There is no doubt that he did some awful things, but I had a huge amount of sympathy for him and what he’d been through. My wife just thought he was a monster. Curious.
Quite a challenging film, and tense up to the very end – well worth watching.