Friday, March 22, 2013

Dead Man Down

I think that winning an Oscar or even being nominated for one does more damage than it does good for your career because all of a sudden you are no longer getting the roles that got you this acclaim. Look at Terrence Howard; granted he was never in great films but he was always playing a role that was in his wheel house. He always played the slightly off black guy who seemed to be a little too intense for every situation he was put in and this worked perfectly for his roles in Crash and Hustle and Flow. After this though, he is all of a sudden playing the inspirational swim coach in Pride or looking uncomfortable as a billionaire playboy’s best friend in Ironman. Now he’s all but forgotten with straight to video movies or television appearances. 

Well if not for horrible marketing he could’ve started making his comeback in Dead Man Down. The preview made it look like another straight to video flick that survived that death sentence only because Noomi Rapace was in it. But it actually turned out to be a decent thriller with quite a few surprising twists you weren’t expecting.  I’ll only give away one pseudo spoiler so you’ll actually go see it so don’t be too worried. But basically the story involves Terrence Howard as a local NYC gangster who is being tormented by random threats on his life by someone who has a personal vendetta against him and his crew. So one by one his crew ends up dead with a clue attached to them slowly revealing the identity of the person responsible for doing this. Colin Farrell plays one of his main guys that he can trust but you’re not quite sure that he is all in with what the crew is doing. Well one day after weeks of gazing at each other from across the way for weeks, his neighbor Rapace asks him out. Rapace was in a horrible car accident and after having reconstructive surgery on her face, she is still pretty but the scars that were left behind led to the neighborhood giving her the nickname, monster. 

Well while on the date, you are expecting the usual “oh they fall for each other but he has to hide his gangster lifestyle from her” subplot until it comes time for him to drop her off. This is when she drops the bomb on him giving him the ultimatum of killing the drunk driver that caused her injury or she’ll turn him in to the cops for a murder he committed that she was able to record. Well naturally the question arises, why not just kill her and move on? Because Farrell is also not what he seems but again don’t think that the movie goes down the traditional path of recent thrillers where you can predict what happens in the previews. I will leave the rest for you to discover on your own so you can also be pleasantly surprised by this movie.

Now before I continue this movie is by no means great but it’s pretty darn entertaining. My main complaint is that western Europeans have it all figured out. They eat healthier, have hotter women, have speed trains to Amsterdam where you can legally take drugs, and they get Noomi Rapace naked on film. Come on US studios, how hard is it to convince this woman to drop her top for her loyal fans? Even with this glaring failure, there are enough twists that keep you guessing but not so many that it turns into the horrible Wild Things (lesbian scenes aside). And the tipping point is the final scene where all of a sudden the movie turns into Die Hard and Collin Farrell is shooting everyone up with automatic weapons and grenades.  I was practically cheering at the end.  I rate this movie as FRESH and suggest that you pop in.

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