Excerpt: Hungarian immigrant Victor (Colin Farrell) institutes a viciously unflinching campaign of aggression against a New York crime boss who murdered Victor’s kin as Dead Man Down jumps into its narrative struggle. Lumpy pacing will loosen thematic grip, while an unorthodox romance blossoms with an emotionally and physically scarred Beatrice (Noomi Rapace), blackmailing Victor.
Excerpt: I don't envy Niels Arden Oplev. Though he's had a fairly long career outside America, he came to most viewers' attention when he helmed the first adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for Swedish screens. Being involved in such a well-loved and high-profile project must have been both rewarding and daunting. It also seemed to have given Oplev entry into the American market, reuniting him with Noomi Rapace.
Conclusion: I first screened 'Dead Man Down' several weeks prior to its U.S. theatrical release, long before it had word-of-mouth or a Tomatometer score. After seeing it, I wiped the drool from my mouth and couldn't wait until embargo lifted so that I could actually talk about the film. When opening day arrived and I saw the consensus, I was appalled to learn that I was in the minority of people who loved it. To this day, I still have no idea what the hater gripes are about.
Excerpt: "So many screenwriters are taught to be economical," Dead Man Down scribe J.H. Wyman told Film.com in a recent interview, "and I don't really understand that." Given that his new thriller proceeds at roughly the pace of Sátántangó before finally clocking in at a supremely overlong two hours, a fundamental misunderstanding of narrative economy does indeed seem like an apt self-diagnosis, even if he doesn't, in his own words, "really give a shit about the rules.