‘Dead Man Down,’ is a smart crime drama that benefits greatly from lead actors Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace. Director Niels Arden Oplev, who directed the original film version of Stieg Larsson’s ‘Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’, has wisely cast lead actors who believably embody their roles.
Both Rapace’s ‘Beatrice’ and Farrell’s ‘Victor’ are fueled by a need for revenge against those who have cost both characters great personal loss. Beatrice wishes revenge on the drunk driver responsible for crashing into her car and leaving her disfigured. Victor has a score to settle with some underworld figures that cost him the lives of his family.
The plot device, wherein Beatrice convinces Victor to avenge her injury, works well and is an original twist on the damsel in distress tropes other movies fall into. Beatrice is tough and just as clever and resourceful as any of the male characters in this story.
The film is badly marketed and packaged as an action movie. Although there are some definite action sequences in ‘Dead Man Down,’ they serve the momentum of the story versus merely existing as an excuse for fancy explosives. This is a movie about two unfortunate people whose needs for justice bring about an uneasy alliance and personal bond between them.
‘Dead Man Down’ is a solid crime drama for adults. If seeing an intelligently made, character-driven actioner is your kind of movie…get out there to see ‘Dead Man Down’ while it’s in theaters.