Beatrice (Noomi Rapace) has been watching
Victor. She saw him kill a man and wants him to kill the drunk driver who left
her face scarred in a car accident (or she will expose Victor to the cops). Victor
agrees to do the job for her because he has his own revenge to protect as he is killing off people in the crime organization
of Alphonse (Terrance Howard) and the Albanians that Alphonse hired to kill Victor and his wife after a stray bullet killed
their daughter. Victor carefully
plans his revenge, but he didn’t count on getting involved with Beatrice as their thirst for revenge pushes them together. Meanwhile, Alphonse is paranoid about who he can trust as Victor’s revenge draws
closer to its conclusion.
Niels Arden Oplav has crafted a unique
visual American neo-noir as his American movie debut as his most recognized movie is the original adaptation of THE GIRL WITH
THE DRAGON TATTOO. He is able to film an American city in a different way than
an American director and he manages to get Colin and Noomi to express the emotional conflicts within their characters. Both Beatrice and Victor are conflicted characters who are trapped by their pasts
and trying to come to terms with the traumatic events that have set them on their paths for revenge. The two characters say a lot with their expressions and Oplav is able to capture that on the screen without
trying to bog the scenes down with endless dialogue (thanks to a cleverly written screenplay by J.H. Wyman who has laid down
a few twists and turns into the story of DEAD MAN DOWN).
In the end, DEAD MAN DOWN is a movie about
redemption and second chances which is found in the most unlikely of places. The
first scene nails it when Victor’s friend tells him a story about how humans aren’t meant to be alone. As the story develops, you see how the loneliness of both Victor and Beatrice has torn them up inside
and how their need to ease their pain has brought them together. DEAD MAN DOWN
is a clever twisty and visual thriller with dramatic performances from the two leads who manage to say more through their
aces than through their words. If you want a clever thriller mixed with drama
and emotion, check out DEAD MAN DOWN.
This movie review is (c)3-9-2013
David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments