The Score: "When The Bullets Do Start Flying In The Last 15 Mins, 'Dead Man Down' Is Already A Lost Cause"

Friday, Mar 8, 2013 8:06PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

THE SCORE 5.5/10
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  • Dead Man Down
  • Colin Farrell, Terrence Howard
  • March 8, 2013
Boston Globe 2 out of 4
Cinesnob C-
IGN 6 out of 10
Rotten Tomatoes 5 out of 10
USA Today 2 out of 4

If you're looking for an action-packed, fast-paced thriller, you might want to stay home and see what's on Netflix, otherwise, take your chance with this weekend's opening of Dead Man Down.

With some notable hits to his name, director Niels Arden Oplev takes a crack at Hollywood with his first American flick.

Danish director Niels Arden Oplev reunites with his "Dragon Tattoo" star Noomi Rapace for this New York-set neo-noir thriller. For his American film debut, Danish director Niels Arden Oplev and his original The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo star Noomi Rapace have relocated to the mean streets of New York for a vengeance-driven, neo-noir crime thriller. (Hollywood Reporter)

Most audience members will notice standouts like Colin Farrell and Terrence Howard add some blockbuster credibility to the crime thriller.

Up until the very end of the picture, Dead Man Down is a mostly serviceable crime drama. It has fine work from Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace along with worthwhile supporting turns by Terrance Howard and the always appreciated Domonic Cooper. It doesn't set out to turn heads or reinvent the wheel, but it tells its grim story of revenge and tortured romance with just enough aplomb to merit a casual viewing. (Huffington Post)

Packed with excitement, the film flows from start to finish with a plot of revenge.

Revenge is a dish served cold and in most cases pretty immediate. If you're watching a master at the genre like filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, there's no beating around the bush when it comes to it. Death comes quickly when The Bride slices her way through ninja assassins in "Kill Bill" or the Bear Jew plays homerun derby with a Nazi's head in "Inglourious Basterds." But when revenge is carried out in a more meticulous manner, it only works if the narrative doesn't follow suit and come to a screeching halt. "Dead Man Down" does just that. It's a crackling fire that dies out fast. (Cinesnob)

The movie attempts to inject symbolic messages throughout its story's duration.

Dead Man Down is also leaden with symbolism, some of it effective and some of it not. Visual cues including a lucky rabbit's foot, Beatrice's scarring and even a BMW hood ornament are all meant to signify something meaningful for the characters. Some of it -- the rabbit's foot, for instance -- offers substance to the narrative tapestry, but there's the more obvious stuff like Rapace's pure white dress that seems to hint at something that's not altogether clear. (IGN)

Although Dead Man Down received a few glimmers of positive reviews, various critics found handfuls of flaws with the fast-paced drama.

When the bullets do start flying in the last 15 minutes, "Dead Man Down" is already a lost cause. It retreats into a cliché shoot em' up flick that has Hollywood written all over it. It's unfortunate Oplev's foray into the American film industry had to start with such a whimper, especially since he's already proven with "Dragon Tattoo" that he has a very fascinating take on the darker side of drama. (Cinesnob)
With an impressive international cast, Dead Man Down yearns to be both edgy and action-packed. It comes up short on both counts. Farrell doesn't say much, but communicates mightily with his expressive brown eyes. He and Rapace don't have heaps of chemistry, though they play their roles well. Dead Man Down seeks to come to a final resting place of redemption. But an attempt at an uplifting ending rings hollow after the antics of voracious rats and scores of ammo sent whizzing. Despite a talented international cast, Dead Man Down falls flat. (USA Today)

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