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Dead Man Down- review

“Dead Man Down” (2013)
Directed by Niels Arden Oplev
Starring Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace
Running Time 110 Minutes, Rated R.
2 Mitch’s out of 5
Mitch Hansch/movieswithmitch.com

Exciting trailer.  Dull film.  

I admit it, I was taken by the trailer.  Noir super cool stylish, admired actors brooding with supposed intense performances (Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace, and Terrence Howard), R rated revenge action, and a reteaming of the original Girl and the Dragon Tattoo’s Noomi Rapace and director Niels Arden Oplev.  

What’s delivered is quite the opposite.  Farrell and Rapace do their darndest to build chemistry but get engulfed by a ridiculous screenplay. With semi-passable but too infrequent action and most of the trailer shots not coming until the ending, Oplev does nothing more than add another weak R. rated entry to a thus far very disappointing early 2013.

Dead Man Down pulls us in with two very different intertwining storylines.  Story (A) has Colin Farrell playing the revenge seeking Victor, a mid-level henchmen to a higher up N.Y.C. boss played by Terrence Howard.  Howard and his cronies somehow don’t know Victor’s past identity and the travesties they’ve caused him.  Victor’s plan is so overly convoluted and pointlessly complicated that even F. Murray Abraham, who plays a family member in on the plan, asks what’s taking him so long.  

Story (B) has Victor’s neighbor Beatrice (Noomi Rapace) witness Victor in the act of murder and, subsequently, blackmail him to put a hit on the jerk who left her face heavily scarred from a drunk driving car accident.  Any chance of compelling romance is lost as the script bounces from Beatrice’s vengeance hysterics one moment and changes on a dime to her having to fight her low self-esteem towards the cutie Victor.  

When the unraveling of the mystery isn’t making you ask why, it’s B-movie-confusing-New York-underbelly scene is making you ask what.  I swear in one scene they put a handful of marbles in the mouth of B movie veteran Armand Assante that had him explaining something about the rules of being a gangster, or maybe he was going over his recipe for his prized family spinach dip, I have no idea.

In the end, I don’t know what the talented Dane Oplev was going for, but it sure didn’t equate to the trailer.

“this” sure didn’t equate to the trailer.

Romans 12:19 

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