For Thomas Archer (Ron Eldard) life was good, he had a good career as an architect, a happy marriage and a son who he doted over. But then all that is taken away from him when his son is killed during a robbery and the pain he feels is destroying his marriage. When he learns something about the man who killed his son he is presented with the opportunity to seek out justice for himself unaware that his actions will have far reaching consequences.
"Already Dead" starts of in fantastic fashion as we are thrown into the world of Thomas Archer, a man who is obviously heavy hearted as he is guided through the subway by this mysterious gruff voice over a cell phone to a destination where he hands over a duffel bag stuffed with cash. During this we hear him ask if he is alright and we see flashbacks to his memories of his son letting us make a judgement as to what is going on but not given enough facts of what is what and in doing so creating a mystery. Eldard sells this opening because in coming across as heavy hearted he also comes across as a man who is not thinking straight due to that emotion, yet Eldard never once over plays it. Combined with that mysterious voice on the end of the phone it immediately makes us pay attention desperate to work out what is going on as the voice leads him to an old warehouse.
Now of course if you read my opening synopsis you will have put two and two together and realised that Thomas hasn't got a bag of ransom money to get his son but has found someone who will lead him to his son's killer via a series of clues and envelopes, almost as if someone is playing a game with him. Whilst all this is going on we have more flashbacks to what happened including his sons murder, brief scenes of Thomas's previous happy life which show a great contrast between the once happy and success Thomas and the shell of the man he has become.
The trouble with "Already Dead" is what it builds up to as after scenes which could have come out of "Hostel" we have a game of cat and mouse in the warehouse. Whilst nicely filmed it is a let down after the build up which is well thought out and intriguing. In fact it feels like the writers came up with a good idea for a suspenseful movie but either didn't know how to end it or someone said this needs an action pay off to make it work.
What this all boils down to is that "Already Dead" starts off brilliantly with Ron Eldard bringing his character to life in a painfully realistic manner. But the longer it goes on the less suspenseful it becomes as it resorts to a cat and mouse action ending.