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With Jim Sabatini

Dead Man Down

Dead Man Down
Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace, Terrence Howard, Isabelle Huppert, Dominic Cooper, Armand Assante and F. Murray Abraham

Rated: R for violence, language throughout and a scene of sexuality.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: March 8, 2013 Released by: FILM DISTRICT

The versatile Colin Farrell (Total Recall) and Noomi Rapace (Prometheus) headline this simmering tale of vengeance set in Lower Manhattan.

Dead Man Down has Farrell's quietly vicious thug under the employ of slick leading gangster Alphonse Hoyt (Terrence Howard of Red Tails and the upcoming The Company You Keep) intricately planning the organization's demise using parts of a photograph. Because of the termination of his family set in motion by Alphonse.

Danish helmer Niels Arden Oplev has his original, Swedish Girl With a Dragon Tattoo star Rapace back on board as Victor's untamed, scarred neighbor, Beatrice, who blackmails him after witnessing Victor's more vicious side. The woman who lives with her cookie-baking edgy mother (Isabelle Huppert) wants retribution on a sad-sack drunk driver.

A two-tiered tale has romance and convoluted misdirection with some Euro neo-noir panache for a while before one may give up on narrative suspension of disbelief. An Albanian or Hungarian link to the crime syndicate as well as the mystery around such an assimilated, technologically sophisticated saboteur and his confidante within the inner sanctum.

Under Oplev's elegant trappings with his craft contributors to emphasize how iniquity can come from goodness, Farrell remains impassive to help augment a certain apprehension with somewhat of an enticing, recurring intimacy with the gloomy acrimony evinced through Beatrice by Rapace (though not as riveting as her indelible Goth-styled computer hacker, Lisbeth Salander). That's when Dominic Cooper, Armand Assante and F. Murray Abraham, as well as Howard and Huppert are demonstrated their thespian prowess in backup roles.

Maybe this Dead Man with a little nod to voyeuristic pieces at times would have succeed more if the script by J.H. Wyman may streamlined the machinations of akin, tortured souls to etch a sharper, compelling dark parable as cogent as Rapace who isn't down and out by the time of any succumbing to the concluding ferocious flourishes that multiplex regulars are used to..

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Dead Man Down  B      B-   B                  B 

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