Dead Man Down revolves around Victor (Colin Farrell), a bodyguard for a vicious kingpin named Alphonse (Terrence Howard), who has been receiving various letters with parts of pictures, notes, and various other threats, and is slowly closing in on them. Victor must unravel the secret of who is threatening his boss, why, and how it connects to a mysterious woman (Noomi Rapace), who has taken an unusual interest in him.
The reason that synopsis was so brief is that there is a plot twist about half an hour in, and to say any more would completely spoil it. If you really want to see this, avoid the trailer like the plague. It gives away said plot twist pretty much entirely, and spoils several other key plot points. Why trailers do this, I have no idea. I mean, it doesn’t help you because people will know half the film already, thus will feel less entertained when they leave, giving the film bad word-of-mouth. I remember Bullet To The Head doing this as well. Seriously, trailer cutters, stop it. Okay, with that out of the way, let’s have a look at this film.
First off, Dead Man Down is marketed as a ‘revenge thriller’. The revenge part is there, but I’m not so convinced of the whole ‘thriller’ aspect. The object of a thriller is to, of course, thrill. Dead Man Down does not do this. Apart from one admittedly pretty awesome shoot-out at the beginning, the film goes along rather slowly, mainly focusing on the romance between Noomi Rapace and Colin Farrell, which is a big mistake as the two have no chemistry whatsoever and is just awkward and boring to watch. Actually, that’s the the main problem with Dead Man Down; it’s boring. It’s painfully, mind-numbingly boring. The film is 117 minutes in length, and it feels around three hours long. It’s that boring. The pacing is so off and the story so ludicrous that I there is really not that much I can say about it. Apart from the plot being completely bonkers, everything is just sort of…there. It’s mediocre. Nothing more than 117 minutes of your life being drained away with no impact left except indifference at best and annoyance at worst.
Dead Man Down is a sub-par pseudo-thriller that fails to entertain or engage in any meaningful way. The acting is good all around, and a couple of times I found myself slightly interested in what was going on, but then we would have another awkward scene between Farrell and Rapace and my immersion what slapped back down again. There are a million films better and worse in the genre, but Dead Man Down is not worth your time or your money.