Is Dead Man Down a Nordic Noir influenced drama, or a slick action film? It's both - but I wish it wasn't. A couple of years ago I asked Noomi Rapace about the difference in styles between the two directors behind the adaptation of Stieg Larsson's Millenium Trilogy, as part of her thoughts - she conveyed that it was sad that the original Director - Niels Arden Oplev didn't move forward with the sequels. I asked if she would work with him again - clearly a little surprised - she said "Yes, of course".
Well, with Dead Man Down Niels Arden Oplev the man behind the original Girl with The Dragon Tattoo reunites with Noomi Rapace for his first US feature film and the result leaves me happy they have.
|Dead Man Down Film Poster|
The Establishing Shot: DEAD MAN DOWN TRAILER HD - 3 MAY 2013
As the gang reacts, members Darcy (Dominic Cooper) and Victor (Colin Farrell) take it upon themselves to dig further into who is after Alphonse. As a further complication to the gang, neighbour Beatrice (Noomi Rapace) discovers Victor has a dark secret and contracts him into a scheme to seek out her own vengeance. With the violence escalating Alphonse begins to suspect that revenge is closer than he thought.
|Dead Man Down Colin Farrell Assassin|
Watching the trailer for Dead Man Down I wasn't too enamoured. The trailer, as slick as it is - gives away too much, and leaves little to surprise. Granted I can see Dead Man Down may be a tricky sell, so showing as much as possible in the trailer kind of hits all the denominators for for a wide audience, but I feel Dead Man Down deserves a bit more of a sophisticated pitch. It would have worked immeasurably better for me as a straight up drama with action added as a bonus rather than the action film with drama that it is being sold as. Which segways into the only issue I have with an otherwise outstanding crime drama.
The marrying up of drama with action didn't work for me. But it's not that simple as the highly improbable action scenes (with lots of gunplay and explosions) are technically brilliant, deftly handled and brilliantly shot, as the whole film is - but what Niels Arden Oplev excels at is crafting an outstanding neo noir drama and bringing exceptional performances out from his cast.
|Dead Man Down The Gang Luis Da Silva Jr, Dominic Cooper, Colin Farrell & boss Terrence Howard|
|Dead Man Down Albanian Hostage & Colin Farrell|
|Dead Man Down Colin Farrell in a graveyard|
Another element that shines is Oplev's use of New York, his location work gives the scenery a life of its own and lets the story feel like it's happening in a vibrant city rather than just a backdrop or set that could be anywhere.
|Dead Man Down Noomi Rapace & Colin Farrell|
It took me a little while to get into the chemistry between Farrell and Noomi Rapace's Beatrice, a beautician with her own baggage. But this has more to do with the intentional plot arc that takes you along with it as the weave of the story and the characters roll out.
|Dead Man Down Luis Da Silva Jr & Terrence Howard|
Dead Man Down is in cinemas from 3 May 2013
In New York City, a crime lord's right-hand man is seduced by a woman seeking retribution.
Director: Niels Arden Oplev
Writer: J.H. Wyman
Stars: Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace, Terrence Howard
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