Film review: Dead Man Down (5 out of 10)

I like Colin Farrell. He’s been in some decent films and was one of the better aspects of the recent Total Recall re-make.

Monday, 6th May 2013, 8:22 am
Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace
Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace

However, I think he may leave this latest effort off his CV.

Danish director Niels Arden Oplev was in charge of the original 2009 Swedish Girl With a Dragon Tattoo which was a good gritty drama.

The original ‘Girl’ from that movie Noomi Rapace has a meaty part in Dead Man Down but even her undoubted talents can’t rescue it.

We have Swedish Rapace playing a Frenchwoman (at least her ‘mother’ is) and Irishman Farrell playing a Hungarian who we discover has ‘worked hard to lose his accent’ but still has an American accent heavily tinted on occasions with Irish.

But the accents are the least onfusing aspect.

The film starts with a tense and action-packed shoot-out because we discover a gangland boss Alphonse) is receiving mysterious messages and threats.

However, we find out the boss isn’t really the overall boss and then Farrell starts acting a bit weird and there’s a few Albanians involved and we’ve haven’t even got to Rapace’s character!

She’s been disfigured in a car crash involving a drunken driver and wants some retribution.

In fact, revenge is the key word that runs through the film - whether you can truly be satisfied in its pursuit.

It has to be admitted that Farrell and Rapace give it their best but after the first 20 minutes I felt the plot had left me behind.

I did hope there would be lots of twists and turns and the storyline would take some risks... but no.

Terence Howard as Alphonse is too nice and vulnerable for most of the film to be the bad man he is made out to be and Dominic Cooper as one of the gang is pretty much wasted, apart from a dramatic opening speech that seems to belong to another film.

Film details: Dead Man Down (15) 1118mins

Starring: Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace

Screening courtesy of Cineworld Crawley

Steve Payne