Film review: ‘Dead Man Down’

IMG_5538.CR2

Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace star in “Dead Man Down.”
Credit: John Baer

There are those who pick apart logic in movies, criticizing plot developments for not making real-world sense. There are also those who feel this is pointless, as one shouldn’t let outlandish, even impossible occurrences in a piece of fiction stand in the way of one’s enjoyment. Even “Vertigo” — the Greatest Film Ever Made, as per the most recent Sight & Sound poll — makes very little rational sense. But where does one draw the line? Perhaps around J.H. Wyman’s script for “Dead Man Down,” whose title isn’t even a saying.

Colin Farrell plays a hoodlum for a big NYC crime boss (Terrence Howard), who’s been fending off a mystery adversary. It turns out the adversary is Farrell himself, whose wife and daughter were murdered by Howard’s goons. Farrell has thus become a superhuman avenger, much like Gerard Butler in another absurdly ludicrous script, “Law Abiding Citizen.”

Alas, Farrell’s neighbor across the way (Noomi Rapace) knows his secret — he killed someone without drawing the blinds, wouldn’t you know — and instead of turning him in, blackmails him into murdering the drunk driver who left the left side of her face scarred. But will they, you know, fall in love?

“Dead Man Down” marks the Hollywood debut of director Nils Arden Oplev, who helmed the Swedish original of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” This time, Rapace doesn’t get a quality role as she did with Lisbeth Salander. Rapace’s character, a beautician rather than a pierced hacker, is scattershot and basically unplayable, though Rapace attacks it with a loopy commitment that becomes oddly affable. Her director gets the same deal: This is one dumb movie, but Oplev — whose “Tattoo” was a funereal slog — plays it as weird and lurid as possible. Rapace lives with her mom, played by (why not?) Isabelle Huppert, who seems convinced she’s in a silly movie where she prances about and makes cookies. This is the most inappropriate role the French ice queen has had since playing Steve Guttenberg’s affairee in “The Bedroom Window,” but her periodic appearances add a richer texture to a movie that would otherwise only be pretty stupid.

‘Dead Man Down’
Director: Nils Arden Oplev
Stars: Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace
Rating: R
Grade: ➊➋



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

Local

Paint Nite: Get drunk and make a painting…

At Paint Nite, New Yorkers can drink and make a painting at a New York City bar.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

National

Donut capers stymie police in Oregon

For more than a month, mysterious vandals have been smearing pastries on cars, depositing donuts in lawns and leaving cakes strewn about the streets.

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

Arts

PHOTO: Wildlife photographer Marc Mol captures amazing aerial…

This aerial image was taken by photographer Marc Mol who spotted the animals during an air safari in Zambia.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

NFL

5 players to watch at Giants training camp

Metro takes a look at five players who will be on everyone’s mind when Giants training camp gets underway.

NFL

'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.