Clipper Film Correspondent
Rated R for violence, language throughout and a scene of sexuality.
Starring Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace, Terrence Howard, Dominic Cooper, Isabelle Huppert, Luis Da Silva Jr., Stu Bennett, Franky G, Declan Mulvey, John Cenatiempo, Roy James Wilson.
Written by J.H. Wyman.
Directed by Niels Arden Oplev.
The mobster/crime drama movie genre used to be dominated by the likes of Scorcese, Copola, DeNiro, Pachino and other usual suspects. These days, those famed mobster movie staples have grown a little long in the tooth, leaving such cinematic attempts to younger filmmakers. Niels Arden Oplev, the man who directed the Swedish version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo comes to America for his first try at mobster drama in Dead Man Down.
Collin Farrell stars as Victor, a rising gangland player who has achieved right-hand man status to a New York crime lord. Victor has infiltrated the mob to get revenge on the men who killed his family a few years before. The gang who killed Victor's family is led by the ruthless Alphonse (Terrence Howard), who is at war with a rival gang.
As Victor plots his revenge, he notices Beatrice (Noomi Rapace) a beautiful, yet scarred woman from the window of his high-rise apartment. The two eventually meet and go out on a date when Beatrice reveals that she has seen some of his deeds from her window and threatens to turn him into police unless he agrees to take out revenge on the drunk driver responsible for scarring her face.
Victor hedges, but eventually agrees to help Beatrice get her revenge. As the pair get closer to getting their vengeance, they each become vulnerable to the evil forces that elude them.
Dead Man Down has some moments of drama and tension, but nothing particularly memorable when compared to some of the more classic mobster films. Farrell and Rapace show their acting skills, but seem like they are occasionally sleepwalking through a film that gets a little slow in the middle. Dead Man Down's plot is interesting, if not a little implausible, with all kinds of narrow escapes and convenient coincidences.
Dead Man Down is sometimes clever, but in the end, it's not much more than your typical mob movie.