Review – Dead Man Down
A superb cast; Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace, Dominic Cooper, Terrence Howard. A strong director (Niels Arden Oplev – the original The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo). Way too much story. And I think that is what did it in for me. And I really wanted to enjoy this film, because I am a big fan of Noomi Rapace. Fortunately I can say that I really enjoyed her work in this one, but have to say that she and Colin Farrell really didn’t seem to have any chemistry on screen. Their dinner date scene was painful to watch.
Colin Farrell plays Victor, a bad guy, no other way to really describe him. He’s a thug who works for another thug, Alphonse (Terrence Howard), and the first thing they do is bust into another thug’s drug headquarters and shoot the place up because they think he killed one of their guys. Farrell then goes home. And he waves across the way to a pretty girl (Beatrice played by Noomi Rapace) who lives in the apartment across the way from him, and she waves back at him, because clearly everyone here has good eyesight…They eventually meet and go out, and Victor sees that Beatrice isn’t really as pretty as he thought she was 17 stories up and across the street. She was disfigured in a car accident. Now she and Victor go out and Beatrice shows Victor the drunk driver who caused her accident and now she wants him to kill him for her, otherwise she’ll turn him into the police because on her cell phone, she has video of him killing someone in his apartment. I didn’t realize that they have affordable cell phones now that zoom to take clear video from across the street…Can you sense my frustrations mounting with this film? So Victor agrees to kill the man for her, but first he has to get his own revenge. You see it turns out that Victor is really a Hungarian man whose name escapes me right now (Laszlo I think, but I don’t remember if that was his first or last…) so I’ll keep calling him Victor. Victor’s wife and child were killed a year ago by Albanians who were hired by Alphonse. Now Victor who has kidnapped one of the Albanians and is holding him hostage in a boat, has infiltrated Alphonse’s gang and now plans to lure all the gangsters and Albanians into a trap to kill them all and get his final revenge… Oh yeah and while we’re at it, Victor is an engineering whiz who has cooked up ways to listen in on everyone’s cell phones, and remotely blow up a building…but he’s really not that bad a guy because he’s made a friend with another thug in Alphonse’s gang named Darcy (Dominic Cooper) because he’s found out that Darcy has a kid; and he returns Beatrice’s mother’s Tupperware because she baked him cookies…. so bad guy with a heart of gold character.
That’s a lot of stuff going on in one movie; you would think to fit it all in everything would be happening at breakneck speeds. How come I still felt that it was dragging and too long at 118 minutes? The directing was okay and the film was visually appealing with some clear “European” thinking with some camera shots and the uses of colour throughout the film, but that wasn’t enough. Sorry folks, I really tried to like this movie but it just didn’t do it for me this time. Too many plots, not enough action, and poor chemistry between the leads. I wish they all could be winners, but that isn’t the case obviously.