There is a shortage of solid R-rated action movies these days. Back in the good old days, when grown-ups still went to theaters, those were one of your standbys. Dark shots, brooding protagonists, a few gun fights, some blood, and the obligatory second act sex scene before bodies really start falling. Now the default movie is PG-13 and most darkness got subcontracted out to HBO. It only makes sense. Once we could get that sort of entertainment on our big screens, why in the world would we go to a strip mall and stand in line with teenagers?
So, credit where it is due, but Dead Man Down doesn’t exactly light any other fires. Here’s the plot summary:
Following the cinematic phenomenon The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, acclaimed filmmaker Niels Arden Oplev and brooding beauty Noomi Rapace reunite for another thrilling tale of vengeance. Colin Farrell joins the prestigious team as brave enforcer Victor, right hand man to an underground crime lord in New York. He seeks to avenge the death of his wife and daughter caused by his boss. When his employer is threatened by a mysterious killer, Victor also becomes detective. Victor is seduced and blackmailed by Beatrice (Noomi Rapace), a victim turned avenger whose intense chemistry leads them spiraling into payback delivered in violent catharsis. FilmDistrict will release Dead Man Down in limited theaters on March 8th this winter.
It’s not like I need a color-by-numbers plot, but that summary tries to cram way too much complexity into its few sentences. Here’s the trailer, which seems to make more sense:
I’m pretty sure that Colin Farrell has made this film before. He’s a good actor when he lands in good films, but I swear that every other film he makes is this exact movie. Personally, I think that he peaked in “Scrubs”: