I wasn’t entirely sure what Dead Man Down would be about before seeing it, other than it had a revenge plot, but it ended up being like the TV show Revenge, minus Emily VanCamp’s red Sharpie pen, and with a lot more violence and guns. It’s hard to say what the moral of the story was, either, and Colin Farrell didn’t have many lines in this film (but wore lots of tank tops, so … that’s fine). The movie was more entertaining that not, but it could have benefited from a much shorter runtime.
Victor (Farrell) lives in a huge apartment building in New York City. He often sees a beautiful woman, Beatrice (Noomi Rapace), on the balcony across the way, and one day he gets a note from her. They go out on a date of sorts, and it’s going well until she shows him a video on her cell phone of him killing a man. She tells him she isn’t going to call the police, but she wants a favor from him: to kill the drunk driver who hit her car a few years ago, and left her with permanent scarring on her face. Victor agrees, and they strike up a relationship of sorts, but Beatrice soon finds out that Victor is not entirely whom he appears to be, and she eventually gets entangled with his game of revenge and vendetta that he harbors against two hit men.
Noomi Rapace was very good in this movie. I liked her in the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo film (Swedish, with English subtitles), and she plays Beatrice well here. I would have liked to have been given more of a back story about her, other than just the car accident, though. Colin Farrell is good as Victor, though he doesn’t have many lines (he’s more of the “strong silent type” here) and Terrence Howard and Dominic Cooper play some of the “bad guys” whom Victor has a grudge against.
Maybe see this movie. For an action film, it was pretty slow in parts, and almost made me lose interest, until the next fast-paced scene came along. I thought the story itself was solid, and an interesting one, but the movie runtime still could have been cut by 20-30 minutes. If given the choice, I would choose an episode of Revenge over this similarly themed movie, but it’s not a bad selection if you are looking for an action film to see in the theater.
Dead Man Down is in theaters today, March 8th, and is rated R with a runtime of 110 minutes.
Rating: 3 stars out of 5.