Suppose Armand Assante had played the mother, not as a father, as a mother. Suppose Isabelle Huppert had taken the Colin Farrell part. This may be no more than playful, but heaven knows Dead Man Down needs as much of that as it can get.
A way-too-leisurely thriller whose destination is fairly obvious from early on, but to which the talented cast apply themselves with effortful seriousness.
Explores a common ground for noir thrillers before stumbling and imploding in a climax that feels like it might have been hijacked from an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie.
While a mob thriller can be as nasty as it likes, what it can't be is silly.
More a dark fairy tale about vengeance than the action-packed crime thriller it purports to be, the film is at times exhilarating, bold, and beautiful -- when it's not busy being ludicrous, fragmented, and just plain stupid.
It takes forever to get going, unspooling its hopelessly convoluted, unwieldy plot for so long that it loses whatever marginal narrative momentum it possesses.
Dead Man Down is a very serious thriller featuring very serious stars being very serious about the seriousness at hand.
This blend of Scandinavian gloom and Hollywood hokum never jells.
Yep, there's a whole lot going on here, but this is one of those plot-heavy scripts that carries its weight with confidence - the intricate twists don't cheat.