If jumpers could kill – ★★
Dead Man Down is director Niels Arden Oplev’s first film since The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo back in 2009. With revenge, justice and redemption at the core you can see what attracted him to the piece.
Somebody is playing mind games with gang boss Alphonse (Terrence Howard) and killing his crew in the process. Victor (Colin Farrell) is his right hand man but could he be the very person trying to kill Alphonse? Yes, yes he is. Turns out Victor is actually Hungarian, (a fact nobody knows as he’s managed to lose his thick accent: think of the Go Compare Meerkats, only deeper) and the fonze was responsible for the death of his wife and baby girl. All together now, RAMPAGE.
So Victor has infiltrated fonzie’s gang and with a very elaborate plan sets about destroying his world and everything he holds dear. The only other goon with a brain is Darcy (Dominic Cooper) who, in an attempt to get to the bottom of all the recent deaths whilst impressing fonzarelli, risks exposing Victor and his dastardly plan of revenge.If all this wasn’t enough for Victor to contend with, his neighbour Beatrice (Noomi Rapace) saw him killing one of the gang in his apartment and blackmails him to go and kill the drunk driver that has left her horribly disfigured. Now I say horribly disfigured when in reality she has a few scratches on her face, yet in movieland this makes her some hideous elephant man character who is bullied by children and shunned by society.
So if you haven’t guessed by now there is a lot of different story threads at work here, not to mention another one involving a rival gang that comes in and out of the film. This is the main failing, it’s too bogged down with content and when it does have some action it’s pretty ludicrous, just ask yourself at the end – how did that car get into that house at that angle?
The acting is all perfectly acceptable, nobody is stretched and due to the storyline you don’t care about the protagonists as there are too many twists and turns to invest in anyone. It could have been an acceptable revenge thriller but ends up like a dead body in a river, bloated and unable to pick a direction.
USA / Directed By: Niels Arden Oplev / Written By: J.H. Wyman / Starring: Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace, Terrence Howard, Wade Barrett, Dominic Cooper / 118min / Action / Release: 3 May 2013 (Ireland, UK), 8 March 2013 (US, Canada)