Latest Entertainment News Headlines

Review: Dead Man Down

Dead Man Down
03.08.2013by:
100%
7 10

PLOT: Victor (Colin Farrell) is part of gangster kingpin Alphonse Hoyt's (Terrence Howard) crew. Handy with a gun, and smart enough to keep his mouth shut most of the time, he's risen through the ranks quickly. But- when Beatrice (Noomi Rapace)- Victor's neighbor, sees him commit a murder, she blackmails him into killing the drunk driver who left her with a badly scarred face. Little does she know, Victor is not the thug she thinks he is.

REVIEW: DEAD MAN DOWN has a relatively high-brow pedigree for an action thriller. Coming from director Niels Arden Oplev- who previously directed Noomi Rapace in the acclaimed Swedish adaptation of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, DEAD MAN DOWN takes a familiar story- which could have easily been lifted from an eighties Charles Bronson Cannon flick, or a nineties Van Damme outing, and gives it the “art-house action” treatment. While not as good as other examples of that new genre, like HANNA or DRIVE, DEAD MAN DOWN is nonetheless solidly entertaining, and a top notch “tough guy” star vehicle for Colin Farrell.

Here, he plays your prototypical killer with a heart of gold, who- of course, is hiding some painful secret that justifies his methodical approach to the underworld. It's a familiar part, and the revelation regarding his character and his part in Howard's mob isn't tough to predict. Still, even if the role is familiar, Farrell delivers in an emotionally satisfying way a lot of other action stars might not be capable of. His performance here is ultra-intense and highly emotional- and it's unique to see an action role taken with this kind of method-style approach. Take him out of DEAD MAN DOWN, and it's just a very pretty action movie. But with him- it's occasionally more than that.

As for Noomi Rapace, DEAD MAN DOWN is easily the best acting she's done in English, although- to be brutally honest, that's not setting the bar too high- not that it's all her fault. She was utterly miscast as window dressing in the last SHERLOCK HOLMES, and had the blandest part in PROMETHEUS. Here, under Oplev's direction, she has a lot more to work with as Beatrice, a former beautician who whose face was mangled by a drunk driver. While the neighborhood kids follow her around and call her monster, I need to point out that Rapace really doesn't look that bad at all here, making it hard to accept when characters are supposed to be taken aback by her looks. She's very good as Beatrice- even if the character feels a little under-cooked at times.

Given the two lead performances, it's a shame that DEAD MAN DOWN is often let down a bit by a pretty disjointed story. It's riddled with huge lapses of logic that are incredibly annoying (including the standard “no cops anywhere trap”- even during a downtown shootout)- including one whole scene between Farrell and Howard (as the dandified baddie) that doesn't make a lick of sense, and left me scratching my head. This would have been harder to forgive in a less stylish film, but Aplev's sleek visuals (with cinematography by Paul Cameron, who shot MAN ON FIRE, and co-shot COLLATERAL), and the powerhouse performances by Farrell and Rapace make it easier to cut it some slack.

The best parts of DEAD MAN DOWN are the three action set-pieces- one for the beginning, middle and end. It's actually the middle action scene that's the best- with Farrell's downtown mobster sniper attack being the kind of thing that would absolutely own in a PUNISHER reboot (come to think of it- Farrell would be an interesting choice). Aplev's handling of all three scenes is excellent, even if the CGI-packed finale is a little much for a film that had previously been relatively low-key.

Obviously DEAD MAN DOWN is not even close to being a perfect movie, but there's enough about it that resonates to make it an easy recommendation. As an action film it's plenty satisfying, but the performances from the two leads, and Aplev's talent behind the camera gives this an edge it wouldn't have had otherwise. It's probably not for everyone, but if you like your action flicks with a little European, art-house flair, this is for you.

Source: JoBlo.com

RECOMMENDED MOVIE NEWS

MORE FUN FROM AROUND THE WEB

Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

5:48PM on 03/14/2013

Great movie!

Just saw it yesterday and I was extremely suprised how good it was! I saw it only because I like Ferrell and it looked like a decent way to waste sometime. It ended up being a pretty great movie. Not perfect, but a definate 7/10!
Just saw it yesterday and I was extremely suprised how good it was! I saw it only because I like Ferrell and it looked like a decent way to waste sometime. It ended up being a pretty great movie. Not perfect, but a definate 7/10!
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+2
11:48PM on 03/10/2013

Nice Review

I was in two minds about watching this but after reading the above review I'll go for it.
I was in two minds about watching this but after reading the above review I'll go for it.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
2:49AM on 03/09/2013
I liked the previews to this flick & the premise does sound very old school.

On a side not I could not disagree more with the review stating Rapace's role in Prometheus was the blandest, that honor goes to Charlize Theron, whose character i thought was boring & pointless & a douwnright bitch.
I liked the previews to this flick & the premise does sound very old school.

On a side not I could not disagree more with the review stating Rapace's role in Prometheus was the blandest, that honor goes to Charlize Theron, whose character i thought was boring & pointless & a douwnright bitch.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
7:05PM on 03/08/2013
Glad to see it get a good review. The movie looks really good with powerhouse performances from Ferrell, Rapace, and Howard.

Will be checking it out this week hopefully.
Glad to see it get a good review. The movie looks really good with powerhouse performances from Ferrell, Rapace, and Howard.

Will be checking it out this week hopefully.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
7:01PM on 03/08/2013
Just got back from seeing it. This movie fits squarely in that B-movie revenge genre that is easy to digest, with superior visuals and performances. Noomi Rapace actually reminded me of the classic femme fatales of noir (the ones that aren't all evil anyway). Good to see F. Murray Abraham getting back in the game, too.
Just got back from seeing it. This movie fits squarely in that B-movie revenge genre that is easy to digest, with superior visuals and performances. Noomi Rapace actually reminded me of the classic femme fatales of noir (the ones that aren't all evil anyway). Good to see F. Murray Abraham getting back in the game, too.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
3:04PM on 03/08/2013
I find Noomi Rapace's strange face and even stranger accent distracting.
I find Noomi Rapace's strange face and even stranger accent distracting.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
2:36PM on 03/08/2013
I will never even begin to understand all the love slathered on the makes-no-sense and has terrible acting 'Hanna'. Unfortunatelym for me, comparing this film to that one just makes me assume this also sucks.
I will never even begin to understand all the love slathered on the makes-no-sense and has terrible acting 'Hanna'. Unfortunatelym for me, comparing this film to that one just makes me assume this also sucks.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
7:18PM on 03/09/2013
Funny, I found Hanna to make perfect sense and the acting to be fantastic. We must have seen two different movies. Couple that with the awesome music, great action and cinematography, and it was a fantastic movie.
Funny, I found Hanna to make perfect sense and the acting to be fantastic. We must have seen two different movies. Couple that with the awesome music, great action and cinematography, and it was a fantastic movie.
+11
1:34PM on 03/08/2013
Glad for this review. This is the film I have the most interest in this weekend, not just because of the talent involved, but because it looks like a decent action film, and even with all the action films coming out early this year, that genre has been mostly disappointing. Overall, this seems to be getting the shaft by critics, but I may very well check this out this weekend.
Glad for this review. This is the film I have the most interest in this weekend, not just because of the talent involved, but because it looks like a decent action film, and even with all the action films coming out early this year, that genre has been mostly disappointing. Overall, this seems to be getting the shaft by critics, but I may very well check this out this weekend.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
View All Comments

Latest Entertainment News Headlines


Top
Loading...
JoBlo's T-Shirt Shoppe | support our site... Wear Our Gear!