Damaged Together

Colin Farrell in Dead Man Down (2013)

Victor (Colin Farrell) and Darcy (Dominic Cooper) have been working for criminal kingpin Alphonse (Terrence Howard) for less than a year and have become friends in the process. But whilst Darcy wants to make it big in the organization Victor has other motives as Alphonse was behind the death of his daughter and the murder of his wife and now he plans to make him suffer and pay. But Victor's plans become complicated thanks to Beatrice (Noomi Rapace) who lives in the flat in the building opposite his as after watching each other from their windows they end up meeting and becoming close. But Beatrice has her own troubles as a drunk driver lead to a car crash which left her face heavily scarred and she wants payback and wants Victor to kill him for her.

Do you know what I like about "Dead Man Down"? It's unpretentious; it knows what it is and delivers on it without the need for going over the top with the dialogue, action or acting. Yes you could say that the climax is a bit over indulgent but this is a movie which for me harks back to the action thrillers of the 90s and does a good job of delivering this simple form of entertainment. But wait it isn't just action because this unpretentious story is about two troubled people with personal issues which don't so much drawn them together or make them right for each other but make them easy to warm to as people.

Noomi Rapace in Dead Man Down (2013)

So what am I on about? Well on one hand we have Victor wanting revenge on the other Beatrice wanting revenge and of course the conflict which arises when for the single minded Victor he finds emotion causing confliction. And it isn't just his feelings towards Beatrice which cloud his judgement but also towards Darcy who has a wife and child. And that is very much it although we do have the fun of watching Victor torment Alphonse with him sending him anonymous threats and picking off his men one by one. It s uncomplicated stuff but director Niels Arden Oplev handles it nicely to keep the movie turning over.

In truth much of the success of "Dead Man Down" comes from it being unpretentious but the quite, non romantic chemistry between Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace makes their characters easy to warm too. It may be cliche but these two damaged individuals have something about them which makes us not so much warm to them but understand them and it is that which Farrell and Rapace bring to the screen rather than delivering a faux romance.

What this all boils down to is that "Dead Man Down" doesn't break any barriers when it comes to story, action or characters but what it does is done well and that for me makes it entertaining. Maybe it is more down to hitting an age where uncomplicated can appeal but for me "Dead Man Down" harks back to the movies of the 90s and that is what I like about it.

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