Dead Man Down (2013)

reviewed by
Stephen Bourne

Review: Dead Man Down (2013)
USA, 117 minutes, Rated 14A (ON) 13+ (QC)
Reviewed 03/13, (c) Stephen Bourne

Colin Farrell stars in this hopelessly cobbled crime-drama-romance-blackmail- revenge-snoozefest from acclaimed Danish director Niels Arden Oplev. Oplev is acclaimed because he last directed the acclaimed Swedish blockbuster Man som hatar kvinnor, also acclaimed as the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009). Hollywood acclaimed the mountain of money that one made so much, it was remade in English a couple of years later starring James Bond, Mark Zuckerberg's movie ex-girlfriend, Bootstrap Bill and old Captain Von Trapp. It won an Oscar out of its five Academy Award nominations. Impressed yet? You shouldn't be. Oplev didn't direct the remake; he instead directed this waste of time and talent.

Dead Man Dumb, uh, Down, tries desperately to be too many things from beginning to closing credits. It starts off as an entertaining, high octane hornets' nest of hate and bullets ripping across the screen, but then quickly fizzles into being little more than a goofy, cripplingly dull tete-a- tete of enigmatic body language, awkward silence and ridiculous twists from left field that all attempt to resemble a psychological thriller. It fails. Miserably. Numbingly. Dead Man Lame, uh, Down, is cinematic brain freeze for action film fans. It's not much better as film noir, either. That's due in large part to Oplev ineptly handling the ambitious subtleties of unspoken dialogue clearly coming from J.H. Wyman's amateurishly wobbly screenplay in scene after scene.

Sure, the basic premise has potential: Farrell's otherwise mild-mannered character Victor wants mortal revenge for the two-year-old murder of his wife and daughter, so he's infiltrated the New York City gang responsible to coyly torment his unsuspecting criminal boss Alphonse Hoyt (played by Terrence Howard.) Okay. Somewhat contrived, but an interesting enough twist on the blood vendetta riff. Then, French car accident surviving ex-beautician Beatrice (Noomi Rapace) appears from the apartment building neighbouring Victor's, venomously blackmailing him into killing the drunk driver who scarred her face. Double revenge. Got it. More bullets, please. However, she then continually flop-flops between that and girlishly flirting with Victor from across their facing 18th floor balconies - 'til he begins fancying her too. Buying her gifts. Returning her Tupperware. Who the what-what?! Did the reels get switched? I was watching an action movie five minutes ago. Bullets and bloodshed, not the unmedicated cut of Bridget Jones's Diary. So confusing. So so disappointing.

Switching to the official Dead Man 
Yawn, uh, Down, website at is 
pretty much a waste of time too. You 
get a relatively pointless synopsis 
and some slap-dash cast bios, a handful 
of on-set photos, and a gallery of all 
the TV ads and trailers that 
dishonestly promoted this cinematic 
sleeping pill. Ho-hum.

In far more capable hands and with a script that lived up to the challenge, Dumb Lame Yawn, uh, Dead Man Down could have been a thoroughly intriguing humanistic crime-drama. As it stands, you're better off just enjoying the action-packed highlights in the trailers and imagining a better movie far from the box office. Reviewed 03/13, (c) Stephen Bourne.

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Tags: Dead Man Down, Colin Farrell Tags: Noomi Rapace, Terrence Howard Tags: moviequips, Ottawa, crime, drama

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