In New York City, a crime lord's right-hand man is helped by a woman seeking retribution.In New York City, a crime lord's right-hand man is helped by a woman seeking retribution.In New York City, a crime lord's right-hand man is helped by a woman seeking retribution.
Victor (Colin Farrell) is a Hungarian immigrant, who arrived in the US hoping to raise a family and hold down an honest job. But these simple dreams were shattered when crime lord Alphonse (Terrence Howard) and his goons took over the apartment block he was living in, and his family were killed. He has now infiltrated Alphonse's gang, and is systematically annihilating every one of them until he reaches the main man himself. But Victor crosses paths with Beatrice (Noomi Rapace) a beautiful woman whose life has been ruined after she was left with a hideous facial scar by a drunk driver, who tries to blackmail him in to helping her get her own revenge.
It may have reached the stage now where audiences are basically forced in to being a little less demanding and must accept if a plot isn't entirely original or has been done before, as long as it's maybe told in a different sort of way or explored from different angles. Which seems to be the case in hand with this offering from the director of the original The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. As multi-layered as a BLT sandwich, Dead Man Down compounds the action with a cacophony of sub- plots and plot angles that means it never plays out like a traditional revenge thriller, even if the basic plot line is exactly the same.
Shot in a drained background colour, it keeps the feel of a bleak, dreary style that feels like the norm these days. Playing a foreign character whose English isn't so good, Farrell also has to carry the film without much dialogue, but has developed a natural presence by now that gives him enough gravitas to do so. The story and the performances keep you hooked, even if at times they all feel a bit over-whelming and you struggle to take it all in.
While not quite the sum of it's parts that it could have been, Dead Man Down is still a very impressive film, in both a technical and practical sense, that is one of the finer points of Farrell's recent resume. ***
- Oct 26, 2013