YMMV: Falling Down

  • Acceptable Targets:
    • The Nazi store owner, certainly. Probably a lot of other people that run afoul of Foster as well.
    • The violent gang members.
    • The first couple scenes treat the Korean clerk, the gangsters and the beggar as acceptable targets, then the scene with the Nazi deconstructs it as Foster's previous actions cause the Nazi to assume he's also a white supremacist.
  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: Who hasn't fantasized about taking revenge on all the jerkasses in a cruel and feckless world? The fantasy is heavily deconstructed.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Every viewer loved Foster for his attitude against the gangbangers, the neo- Nazi and the rich bastard. Bonus point for the fatigues he got from the military store, that almost looks as a leather coat.
    • The film actually seems to deliberately invoke it, encouraging the audience to root for Foster before Prendergast ruthlessly deconstructs his character in the final scene, saying that everyone has problems like his and "that doesn't give you any special right to do what you did today."
  • Fridge Logic: He gives his lunch to a homeless guy and demands breakfast from a fast food worker in the next scene.
    • Pretty simple actually. He gives his lunch away because he has money and can afford another. The problem at the fast food joint is that he was being denied what he wanted to buy and, in his mind, had the right to demand as a customer.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Misaimed Fandom: There is a fanbase for this movie who think that Foster's actions were justified, including his abuse of his family, and believe that was the point of the film. Apparently they missed the revelation "I'm the bad guy?"
  • Moral Event Horizon: Many of his actions(fatally shooting the Neo-Nazi, who in his own words planned to send him to prison to be raped, going out of his way to non-fatally shoot someone who was trying to stop him) can't quite be called actions of an irredeemable villain. Smirking at a dying old man for hitting him with a golf ball was just plain sadistic and definitely showed he was starting to lose it.
    • Prendergast watching the Fosters' home movies lets you see that he really was a nasty guy even before he snapped and his wife was perfectly justified in her fear of him.
  • One-Scene Wonder: The "Not Economically Viable!" Man. And the neo-Nazi freak is genuinely unsettling.
  • Strawman Has a Point: He's obviously extreme and very unstable but Bill's justification for his crimes (He devoted himself to a country that saw him as expendable and let itself rot with crime and social issues) is not hard to sympathize with.
  • Wish Fulfillment: It's very cathartic to watch this film after having a bad day, or year... You get to the end and think, "Well, I'm glad I didn't do that."
  • The Woobie: Both the main characters.
    • Iron Woobie: Sgt. Martin Prendergast, who is so constantly disrespected by his boss, co-workers and wife that he seems to forget all about it. But he's able to endure it without losing it and manages to find his self-confidence at the end.
    • Jerkass Woobie: Foster has an explosive temper and doesn't hesitate to use it. But he has been so beaten down by life and people around him that you're just amazed he doesn't go further.