9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Revenge thriller/Love story,
This review is from: Dead Man Down [DVD] (DVD)
Trusted Hungarian gangland hard man Victor (Farrell), infiltrates the gang that took his life away from him. But close to finalizing his master plan of revenge, his neighbor Beatrice (Rapace), disfigured from an accident, blackmails Victor into extracting her revenge first. He reluctantly agrees, but they begin to slowly fall in love with each other. Distracted from his own mission, his plan begins to unravel, as his employers get closer to uncovering his true identity.
Dead Man Down starts out & finishes with exciting & well produced action set pieces that open & close the story really well. Inbetween it slows down with the foreground of learning about the lead characters motivations through the suffering inside & outside they have had to endure. With the revenge scheming & the bad guys slowly tracking down the person who is after them, dipping in & out in the background. Now, while following the two leads close interactions it does result in the film lacking some pace in the middle portion of the film, as the star crossed lovers story is explored. So this will likely alienate some of the audience who came into this expecting primarily an all out action film.
But IMO in this exploration, the film endears us more to the two lead characters played brilliantly by Colin Farrell (Total Recall), as the solemn husband whose lost his family & sowing the seeds of his revenge. And Noomi Rapace (Prometheus) as the scarred beautician who is taunted & tortured by bullies & scared to show her face, blackmailing Victor to kill the man responsible for her disfigurement. Both of who'm are they're own worst enemies, and the way they come over in the film, you just want these two wounded souls to leave & be happy together, but it's not going to be that easy.
The film has a good production behind it, writer/producer J.H Wyman (Fringe). And with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Director Niels Arden Oplev in charge of the camera, it certainly doesn't lack for charm. As he brings a really nice, Noir, feel to it that accentuates some scenes amazingly well, the tense Farrell/Howard confrontation epitomized this perfectly. Co-star's the excellent Terrence Howard (Iron Man) as the cool, calculating & ruthless boss of Victor's gang, Alphonse. Dominic Cooper (Abraham Lincoln..) as a fellow gang member, Darcy, who portrays the good guy caught up with the wrong people to aplomb. And Isabelle Huppert (The Piano Teacher) as Beatrice's sweet elderly mother.
In conclusion, Dead Man Down is a movie that compromises on going all out action or all out romance, for a combination of both to suit male & female audiences that want a well rounded story to keep them engaged. IMO despite the sacrifice of pace, it was a good fusion of tension/suspense, action, romance & characters that actually made me care about them. I loved the subtle humor as well. Contains strong language & graphic violence. Recommended.