Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA, 2013. FilmDistrict, IM Global, WWE Studios, Automatik, Original Film, Frequency Films. Screenplay by J.H. Wyman. Cinematography by Paul Cameron. Produced by Neal H. Moritz, J.H. Wyman. Music by Jacob Groth. Production Design by Niels Sejer. Costume Design by Renee Ehrlich Kalfus. Film Editing by Timothy A. Good, Frederic Thoraval.
Colin Farrell is a hit man for a mob boss (Terrence Howard) who strikes up a friendship with the beautician (Noomi Rapace) 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.