A rising star in the organized crime syndicate, Victor, is in fact infiltrating the empire run by kingpin, Alphonse, the man responsible for murdering his family and destroying his life. Victor is meticulous in his plans for vengeance but when he meets Beatrice, his next door neighbor, things become more complicated. Niels Arden Oplev's Dead Man Down is an above average crime/revenge thriller which at its best is a well orchestrated dark fairy tale, yet at its worst it's fragmented, silly, and even ludicrous. If you go into Dead Man Down expecting an action/crime film you are bound to be disappointed. Dead Man down is a film that is far more interested in its characters' stories than gun-play. Both lead characters Victor and Beatrice are well-defined, being deeply damaged because of their pasts. Their awkward, yet enticing relationship is the greatest attribute of the film, with these two characters, whether they know it or not, desperately looking for a reason to live again. What is so odd about Dead Man Down is the over-exaggerated treatment of Beatrice's character - a woman whose face has been severly scared by a car accident. There are quite a few scenes in which children living in the same apartment complex scream at her "monster" throwing trash and plastic bottles at her like she's in middle school. These scenes are quite frankly laughable and hard to believe, especially given the fact that Beatrice's face really isn't very deformed. I understand the point behind these scenes but either the make-up needed to make Beatrice more deformed or the scenes should have been scrapped completely. I personally think they are unnecessary because either way Beatrice is a character who sees herself as a monster regardless of how significantly deformed she is. There are plenty of nice twists and turns throughout this plot heavy thriller and for the most part Dead Man Down has a nice brooding energy too it all. It's just odd how film with such serious intentions manages to keep in exaggerated or silly sequences.
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