Dead Man Down (2013)

Something so seductive about Noomi Rapace. Feral and frail at the same time.
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Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace
At a glance:
R-rated revenge thriller Dead Man Down (2013) is the lousily-titled American debut for director Niels Arden Oplev (Män Som Hatar Kvinnor, 2009) and while it ain't groundbreakin material, a highly committed international cast and several touches of European sophistication maintain a slow-burn seductive mood throughout, even to its predictable Hollywood climax. It's sorta like 21 Grams (2003) with a touch of Taken (2008) and Donnie Brasco (2003), but with unexpected muscle and mayhem, especially towards the end. A better movie than the trailer suggests, though it still died at the box office, you can read.
Bad news on the doorstep:
Most of the plot devices here have been done to death but fortunately our fascination with the characters keep us distracted enough. The chemistry between the lead pair is nicely nuanced and masterfully understated, although I can never care for Farrell's role in any movie. There are run-outs here for F. Murray Abraham, Armand Assante and Isabelle Huppert. More from them would've been satisfyin. Hopefully when the dust has settled after its box office disappointment, the DVD release will come with some extra features and this film can be discovered again.
Perennial wonderment:
What is it about Noomi Rapace that is so mysterious and relentless? Even when she's not wearin a single flake of makeup or when she's playin disfigured characters like the one in this movie, she commands incredible sex appeal. I think she has that kind of feral energy that simply begs for sex, mornin, noon or night. Recommended watchlist - Babycall (2011), Prometheus (2012) and of course the Millennium trilogy.
Reminds me of:
The American (2010) and The Mexican (2001). Everythin Rapace seems to haunt me.
Watch out for:
Wade Barrett, if you're a wrestlin fan. WWE is one of the film producers, so they got a man in. By the way, can anyone let me know what was the French song that was playing on the radio and also at the end credits? Please drop me a note. I really like that song and I can't seem to find out about it anywhere.
[update: The song is Eblouie Par La Nuit by Zaz]
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Flawed but highly enjoyable B-movie. Like the music, like the actors. You could do worse. Hope Oplev gets more Hollywood projects to attach his name to.★★★

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