Monday, July 1, 2013

Dead Man Down

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! This is one of those movies where the trailer is a better product than the actual film.

Dead Man Down – 2 out of 5

Dead Man Down, other than having a title that sounds like the name of a painting or a yoga stance or the name of a shitty hipster band, is a film all about revenge. There’s a crime lord who is the about to get a heaping (and very cold) dose of revenge forcefully placed upon his head and there’s a tragic woman, who was the victim of a car accident and is left permanently disfigured, that's out to get revenge on the man who left her with a face that a mother could no longer love.

She doesn't look half as bad as the crazy lady who throws rocks at me in the park.

Interesting fact about Dead Man Down, it was produced by WWE Studios. Why’s that interesting? First off, I’m still amazed that this venture by the rasslin’ organization didn’t end up becoming a laughing stock like the XFL and their record company (sure, the record company is still around but have you seen what horrors it unleashed into the world of music?). I’m surprised the studio still exists as it seemed to be created for the sole purpose of forcing the WWE’s superstars down our throats in the movie theaters—stars like Kane in the awful horror film See No Evil, Stone Cold Steve Austin in the awful wannabe of Battle Royale; The Condemned and John Cena in just the all-around awful; The Marine (each time providing that the incredible level of acting it takes to be a pro-wrestler and faking being in incredible amounts of pain when you are only in actual incredible amounts of pain doesn’t translate well to the big screen…Cena, more than others, proved that). However, despite all logic, this studio is still producing movies and was able to make one with some decent stars in it and none of the WWE’s roster—never mind, I forgot…they did put one of their wrestlers in.

"Hey guys, let's wait for backup from Hulk Hogan and The Hart Foundation."

Shockingly, Dead Man Down actually had some potential to be a decent film. Who doesn’t love a good story of revenge? (People who hate awesome stuff, that’s who!) Sadly, DMD does little to be an attention grabbing story of fucking someone’s shit up for fucking your shit up.

Terrence Howard with his "the check cleared face."

What?  F. Murray Abraham is still alive?!?
 The cast is filled with talent that knows their craft and have shown off this knowledge time and time again over their respective careers. Colin Ferrell is the main focus of the film as Victor; a guy with a shady past that is out for some revenge. Noomi Rapace, sticking with the track record of always playing an extremely tragic figure, plays Beatrice; the girl in the car accident who is blackmailing Victor in order to get some revenge and, finally, Terrence Howard is Alphonse; a guy who is out for revenge is going to be the victim of revenge.

Ferrell, seen here shaking hands with his imaginary friend that told him to agree
to be in the Total Recall remake.  Although, that friend did tell him to do Seven Psychopaths
so there's some hits and some misses.

I respect each one of these actors (although, Ferrell has been pumping out some stinkers over the last couple of years) and fully anticipated to see some great performances. However, the performances are more…um…okay, rather than great. They are able to keep the story going (albeit, they occasionally try way, way too hard to be dramatic to the point of near hilarity) but when the story itself barely has any motivation to move forward, you really can’t blame the cast for not giving the effort they should be—hell, they are probably exhausted from just pushing with all their might to just get this snail-pace of a story going in the first place.

"Maybe after I eat something I'll feel like doing a little revenging."

There in lies the biggest flaw of DMD. The story is very lethargic and moves ungodly slow. In theory, a slow, methodical pace to a tale of revenge is not a bad idea—as long as the payoff is deliciously devious in its execution. However, DMD doesn’t do this. The closest I got to a great closure to a revenge plot is a pickup truck crashing through a building.

A literal truck.  I wasn't talking metaphorical here, people.

Dead Man Down had the potential to be a cool, entertaining film with a great cast. However, its final product was just a slow-moving story that ultimately felt like it went nowhere. But at least John Cena wasn’t in it, so it has that going for it.

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