“Deadfall” has most of the elements of a good tricky noir: sex, love, doom, death. But the movie is dogged by intermittent listlessness, and it never quite comes together. About halfway in you can tell that the film itself is doomed.
Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde are Addison and Liza, two screwed-up siblings on the run after a big casino heist. Addison is a personable psychopath, Liza a needy emotional mess. When their getaway car crashes in the snow-blown wilds of rural Michigan, Addison decides they should split up and try to make their separate ways to Canada (where the movie was actually shot). He tells her to start hitchhiking, while he takes off into the snowy woods.
Meanwhile, a young man named Jay (Charlie Hunnam, of “Sons of Anarchy”) is being released from prison. Jay was a promising boxer before he was ordered to throw a match. Now, it being Thanksgiving, he just wants to go home to his mom (Sissy Spacek) and disapproving dad (Kris Kristofferson). First, though, he wants to confront the creep who ratted him out for taking a dive in the ring. Unfortunately, he winds up half-killing the guy. Panicked, he takes off in his truck–and soon comes upon Liza, freezing at the side of the road. He picks her up and asks her name. “What do you want it to be?” she says, in a cutesy-annoying way. Soon they’ve pulled in at a cozy tavern, and then checked into an attached motel, where Liza has her way with Jay in the customary R-rated manner.