Dead Man Down is an American crime-thriller starring Colin Farrell as Victor, a hit-man whose boss Alphonse (Terrence Howard) caused the death of his wife and daughter. When a former victim of Alphonse’s brutality (Noomi Rapace) blackmails Victor into becoming her avenger, it results in a wave of violent payback and death that threatens to take all three people down in flames.
The film reunites Rapace with director Niels Arden Oplev (the Swedish Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), costarring Dominic Cooper (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), Isabelle Huppert (Amour) and Armand Assante (Judge Dredd). Writing and co-producing is J.H. Wyman (Fringe), alongside executive producer Brian Kavanaugh-Jones (Insidious, Sinister) and producer Neal H. Moritz (The Fast and the Furious).
Check out an additional featurette and two clips from Dead Man Down, shedding light on the personal conflict between Victor and Alphonse in particular:
The debate rages on, with regard to which is the superior Dragon Tattoo: Oplev and Rapace’s Swedish version – which had a cable television-sized budget and was released in extended form as a mini-series – or David Fincher’s Hollywood style interpretation. Personally, I’m on the fence, so I see Dead Man Down as a better test for examining Oplev’s skills as a filmmaker versus being a glorified television director, especially given the studio-provided budget and “name” producers.
So far, the explosion-friendly action and glimpses of violence seem appropriately visceral and gruesome, though it remains to be seen if Wyman’s script elevates its familiar parts into a thoughtful meditation on the price of revenge, since that’s the route it appears to be taking (as opposed to celebrating its own innate pulpiness, a la this month’s release Bullet to the Head).
Dead Man Down opens in theaters on March 8th, 2013.