Dead Man Down (2013)

NIELS ARDEN OPLEV

Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BB.5

USA, 2013.  FilmDistrict, IM Global, WWE Studios, Automatik, Original Film, Frequency Films.  Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , .  

 is a hit man for a mob boss (Terrence Howard) who strikes up a friendship with the beautician () whose balcony is visible from his window.  She witnessed him kill a man in his apartment and is willing to keep silent about it if he will do the same thing for her.  Her career was destroyed in a car accident that left her face scarred, and she is angry that the man who drove his car drunk and caused the pile-up was given very little in the way of punishment for his crime.  What she discovers in getting to know our hero is that he has a back story of his own: he is only pretending to be a goon, actually working from the inside to get revenge for a personal tragedy that Howard was responsible for.  It’s hard to say why this follow up by Niels Arden Oplev to his terrific Girl With The Dragon Tattoo doesn’t work:  it has a wonderful story, an impeccable cast (also including Isabelle Huppert as Rapace’s chatty mother) and a twisty plot that leads to a wonderful conclusion.  It’s also miserable and dowdy, never exciting but never moody or grimly sexy; the film just rides on the surface and fails to get into the world it is trying to describe.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s