MEDIC!!! ‘Dead Man Down’ (2013).

26 Apr

Dead Man Down posterDead Man Down… What the hell does that even mean!? I get ‘dead man’, and ‘man down’ is a traditional battlefield cry for help, but together? I’m stumped, and this ambiguous title only goes to highlight the main problem with this movie: that this is essentially two conjoined stories which really should have been separated at birth.

This super serious movie stars the super serious Colin Farrell and the also super serious Noomi Rapace as two super serious people with a mountain of super serious secrets. From the moment they catch the other’s despondent gaze, a blossoming relationship forms as he comes over to her house for cookies, and she visits him for… Glasses of water. However, the aforementioned secrets begin to rear their ugly heads as light is cast on both Farrell’s illegal dealings and Rapace’s lust for revenge. Can they sweep out the skeletons from their respective closets before driving off into the sunset?

Dead Man Down is brought to us by director Niels Arden Oplev, the Danish guy behind the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo film of 2009, and as with many international directors his introduction to Hollywood isn’t a memorable one. Farrell is a henchman, a crony if you will, for some mob boss (Terrence Howard) involved in the narcotics business. Not only does he attempt to downplay his Irish accent (which is semi-successful), but his character is actually a Hungarian who is also trying to hide his native tongue. The result is a Frankenstein’s Monster of a tongue which is as funny as it is distracting.

But Farrell’s amalgamation of a dialect is merely the tip of this iceberg of problems masquerading as a film. Dead Man Down is simply trying to be two things: on the one hand, we get a gritty crime thriller about the trials and tribulations of the trigger-happy underground lawlessness, while on the other we’re treated to a fledgling romance between the two neighbours. Apart they could have been great, had each story been given more of a polish and the scripts rewritten, but as it is the film remains a jambalaya that disappoints rather than dazzles.

Farrell and Rapace's relationship is tough to buy, and not very well written.

Farrell and Rapace’s relationship is tough to buy, and not very well written.

There’s a fairly awesome shootout right near the beginning, but from there the story devolves into a decidedly uninteresting spiel about death threats and Farrell’s backstory that moves at a snail’s pace. Couple this with the tiresome love plot involving  Rapace, a young lady apparently horribly mauled in an accident (yet who is still ridiculously attractive; the wounds look like a Henna tattoo). Literally the only sliver of entertainment in this film comes from Rapace’s French mother, played by Isabelle Huppert, a hilariously nosey deaf woman. As the sole source of comic relief, without her this film would be zero fun whatsoever.

Erratic pacing, continuity errors (Rapace claims she can no longer work, yet she works just fine later on), needlessly convoluted plot threads (death threats, phone-tapping, jigsaw puzzle pieces) and a distinct lack of fun all combine to make Dead Man Down a total drag. I’m lucky I had a coffee beforehand, because otherwise I’d have been asleep.

[Written for The Student Standard]

Simon says: leave him there, don’t be a hero!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Interesting Literature

A Library of Literary Interestingness

Brian Finnegan


Me and all of you


Reviews and blog home of Shadow Woods Metal Fest

The Neighborhood

The Story within the Story

Waving at Magpies

There's no marmalade at Paddington Station.


Productive procrastination from my final exams to compliment my final exams. Can't go wrong, right?


some kind of wonderful

Talking Horror

A Podcast About All Things Horror

The Baggage Handler

I made the impossible easy in both worlds!

Hiking Photography

Beautiful photos of hiking and other outdoor adventures.


A look into film - past, present and future.


It's about movies

Unbound Boxes Limping Gods

The writer gives life to a story, the reader keeps it alive.

The Lady's Sanctuary

Whisps and Whims, Writing, Wishes and Whispers.

Audio SeXXX

Eargasms found here!

feral love

night waste; an experiment in largely unedited nighttime musings & thoughts

Film Through Time.

A look at film through the years, in all shapes and forms.

Independent Cinema

Watching movies alone. Always.

Nameless Horror

Unspeakable Acts

Bib Overalls Film Blog

This is my personal blog about Bib overalls films and TV series. It's my first blog. I collect here informations, trailer videos, low-res images and personal comments/ratings.

film review london

concise movie reviews & news

The Silver Fox

I like to tell stories.

Keith Broni

Keith Broni's blog.

Ello world, it's me!'s Blog

whatever passes through my mind...

Dublin to Hollywood

Writing my way to Hollywood - one script at a time


A great site

Poshknacker's Blog

coming proudly from left of your peripherals.

The Evolution of Eloquence

Improving the English language one letter at a time

Katie Ingram


The Noise Made By People

Reflections on music and life. But mostly music.

Lateral Love

"The time is always right to do what is right" ~ Martin Luther King Jr

Celluloid Wicker Man

Reviews, Essays and Analysis of Film and Art By Adam Scovell

Shouting From The Left

Combining Marxist/Humanist/Socialist ideals with satire to create a rhetoric which aims to deconstruct current political socio-cultural events.


A site devoted to the Young Adult sci-fi/fantasy novel The Eye-Dancers


Sounds way better than Cheese and Crackers.

Lonely Eskimo Films

We're just a team of friends that want to show the world how creative we can be :)


Movies, thoughts, thoughts about movies.

Little Thread Crafts

Stitching Away One Thread at a Time

Bad horror, Good times

Reviewing the best of the bad!

%d bloggers like this: