Colin Farrell, Terrence Howard and Noomi Rapace star in this film. Farrell’s character Victor plays the grief stricken husband and father seeking revenge for his loved ones against mob boss, Alphonse (Howard). Beatrice, a French beautician who was viscously scarred in a car accident gets caught up in Victors plans when she seeks him out to kill a man for her. Yup that is pretty much it.
Farrell does solitary brooding quite well but I much prefer it when he has a fun character. You can be dark and still entertaining – In Bruges for example! I guess I warmed to his character as the film progressed but this was all down to his interactions with Beatrice. I didn’t find myself connecting with his story much, and didn’t feel any prongs of sadness when he reminisced about his deceased loved ones. He seems to have a soft side which over powers his mean streak so actually the violence and ruthlessness of his plans of revenge didn’t seem to fit his character. He is pretty handy with a gun though, and I enjoyed him rolling around and having the occasional fight.
The mob boss Alphonse is instantly detestable so Howard does a good job at making it clear he’s the one we’re supposed to hate. He isn’t very menacing though – he gives Victor a speech about burning down everything he cares about etc. and I was willing Farrell to turn and say “oooh I’m quaking in my boots”. This highlights his underlying vulnerability and cowardliness that all big-shots have hidden somewhere… but I think if it were real, he probably could have been picked off quite easily with no need for all the theatrics.
Supporting cast includes Dominic Cooper as one of Alphonse’s gang, one which Victor had grown to like apparently. Why he risks everything on a few occasions to save this tool I will never know, so he has a family, but at the rate this guy is going they would better off without him disrupting their lives and putting them in danger. BUT who am I to judge! Victor has some morals, sometimes.
The story itself is a little tired, man infiltrates gang to seek revenge, blah. The light at the end of the tunnel is Rapace. I like her as a rule, I think she is interesting and quirky and I generally enjoy watching her performances. I feel she held my interest in Dead Man Down also and brought a little edge to the film which without, would have been another run of the mill revenge flick. Her character has depth and a strangely likeable air about her, which brings out more personality in Victor through the film. This can only be a good thing because either he is so stricken by grief that he lost his personality, or this guy’s nickname is Buzzkilington. Sheesh!
All the explosions and gun fire shown in the trailer are practically the only scenes of that nature in Dead Man Down. The rest of the film has far too many awkward silences and ‘touching’ moments. There is a shoot out in the first quarter played to some nice deep drum and bass which got my hopes up for an exciting action film. It was short lived, just like that sequence. It was a little different due to all the nationalities’s cropping up, French, Hungarian, Albanian… and the nice use of a terribly sad French song, but other than that this film tried too hard to be different but ended up being a disappointing cliché. I was willing it to end or get more interesting by half way that’s for sure!