Dead Man Down
Cast: Victor (Colin Farrell), Beatrice (Noomi Rapace), Alphonse (Terrence Howard), Darcy (Dominic Cooper), Valentine Lauzon (Isabelle Huppert)
Director: Niels Adren Opley
Theatrical release: 03/08/2013
DVD Date: 07/09/2013
Running Time: 118 minutes
Note(s): Original screenplay by J. H. Wyman.
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Review: Colin Farrell stars as Victor, a man on a mission of revenge in the suspense thriller Dead Man Down.
The storyline here is reasonably strong. Two years earlier a crime syndicate killed Victor's wife and child and thought they had killed him too. Now a member of that very same syndicate, he has gotten close to its leader Alphonse (Terrence Howard) under an assumed identity. A weak point in the plot, one that is never really explained, is why Victor is taking his time exacting his revenge. Indeed, he's asked that very same point at least twice in the film by those who knew him when he had a family. Moving on … someone in the syndicate is suspicious of him (also for reasons not explained) and Victor kills him. Unfortunately, a neighbor (Noomi Rapace as Beatrice) has witnessed the crime and blackmails him into killing the man responsible for disfiguring her face.
As good as the story has the potential to be, it's not well executed on film. For starters, there are too many unanswered questions. Secondly, I never bought the relationship that inevitably develops between Victor and Beatrice. True, both are hurting inside and probably see a kindred spirit in the other, and while it is intended to be awkward — she is, after all, blackmailing him — it doesn't ring true. Thirdly, I also never bought how easy it must have been for Victor to gain Alphonse's trust. All that happens before the film starts and yet a bit of backstory would probably have helped lend some credibility here.
The performances are just OK. The actors play their roles as directed, but none of the cast seem really invested in them. Dead Man Down is entertaining for what it is, but don't expect too much from it.
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