Niels Arden Oplev, who directed the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, reunites with star Noomi Rapace for his American theatrical debut, Dead Man Down. The film stars Colin Farrell as Victor, a man attempting to take down crime kingpin Alphonse Hoyt (Terrence Howard) covertly after Hoyt killed Victor’s family. Victor is distracted when his neighbor, Beatrice (Rapace), blackmails him into helping her seek revenge against a drunk driver who injured her in a hit and run.
At several points, Dead Man Down shows the promise of an interesting film. In the film’s quieter moments, Farrell and Rapace are allowed to give remarkable performances that show a level of darkness neither actor has truly shown in their last few films. Unfortunately, these moments are tied together with louder, action-filled segments that make the film feel like it’s lurching forward periodically. With a tighter script, Dead Man Down could have gone from being merely watchable to something better.