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Dead man down – film review

Farrell plays Victor, a henchman to Alphonse’s (Terrence Howard) gang, who is being terrorised by cryptic notes from an unknown assassin. One by one, Alphonse’s men are killed off and it looks like he’s next. Victor helps his fellow henchman Darcy (Dominic Cooper) to track down the mystery killer while juggling his own avenues of revenge on the man responsible for the deaths of his wife and child.

To complicate matters, Victor is being blackmailed by a beautiful, scarred woman, Beatrice (Noomi Rapace, Prometheus) from the building across from his apartment. She too wants revenge, on the drunk driver that caused her painful injuries and has a video of Victor commiting a crime as leverage to make him help her get it.

Directed by Niels Arden Oplev, the guy behind the Swedish version of The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo, a movie in which Noomi Rapace played lead Lisbeth Salander, Dead Man Down is a thought provoking thriller that will keep you intrigued right to the end. The movie unfolds at just the right pace, with plenty of action scenes for the lads, and touching moments (and topless Farrell scenes) for the ladies.

Farrell’s Victor is impossible to dislike, and he simply shines as a broken man hell-bent on avenging his family's deaths at the hands of a monster. While his American accent is spot on, his Hungarian one does leave a lot to be desired… you’ll see. Rapace’s Beatrice is at times a focus for sympathy, while at other times infuriating as she gets in his way to succeed in his goal for retribution. She is convincing as an equally damaged individual seeking the retribution she was denied in the justice system. However, randomly, there is one entire scene where she holds a cigarette, not smoking it, for no apparent reason which is just silly if she’s a woman so on edge.

Howard plays the gang leader Alphonse with panache and is appropriately unnerved as the mystery killer gets closer to him, picking off members of his gang one by one. Cooper is the likable best friend/ fellow gang member to Victor, and an appropriate character to highlight the awful losses of Victor’s family as he gets to know his new baby. Dead Man Down features plenty of exciting and nerve-racking near misses, stunts and violence, while managing to secure the audience in rooting for Victor and his plan, whatever the cost. 

Dead Man Down will definitely have you thinking for at least a couple of hours after the movie has ended. It’s an all-encompassing, intriguing thriller for those sick of predictable movies. Worth a trip to the cinema.

Dead Man Down is in cinemas from May 3rd.