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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Four Falls of Buffalo 2015 * * * Stars


Four Falls of Buffalo is a 30 for 30 documentary of anguish and lost yearning. For every moment of light at the end of the tunnel, there is the pain and disillusionment of the Buffalo Bills losing four Super Bowls in a row. "Four Falls", well it's a downer but at least it's straight-from-the-shoulder as the interviewees speak without argument. Former Bills QB Jim Kelly and former Bills wide receiver Don Beebe are the Greek choruses here. One looks a little downhearted, the other surprisingly cheerful.

Distributed by Disney+ and directed by Ken Rodgers (producer of Hard Knocks), Four Falls of Buffalo chronicles the Buffalo Bills teams of the 1990s and how they won so darn much but just couldn't lift that almighty, Lombardi Trophy. Rodgers gives the docu that distinct, NFL Films look (obviously) plus archive footage and sound offs from battered Bills brethren.

Watching "Four Falls", you kind of wonder why it was made. I mean why bring up the sad past of stuff like "wide right", the forgetting of one's helmet via Super Bowl XXVI, or getting 52 points put on you by those pesky Dallas Cowboys. Could it be a cry for help for bygone Bills players and lifelong, present Bills fans? Maybe. There's just so much somberness and affliction in the faces of dudes like former RB Thurman Thomas, former DE Bruce Smith, and former QB Kelly (mentioned earlier). They're obviously not celebrating anything over the course of "Four Falls" and its 102-minute, fly-by running time. Heck, it feels more like they're attending a repast after a funeral.

Gridiron grievances and America's Team aside, Four Falls of Buffalo is crispy edited, perfectly narrated by actor William Fichtner, sort of arcane, and anything but self-effacing. If you're a Bills fanatic it might turn you off, as the proceedings try to glorify 2nd place by polishing that last-gasp, cinematic poop. If you're a football enthusiast and don't root for the Bills (that would be me), then you might feel the opposite, bewitched by why an NFL team losing the big game over and over again heralds a partial quandary. Take these "falls".

Written by Jesse Burleson

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