Monday, March 11, 2013

Movies: Dead Man Down

Hollywood is a magnet that attracts talents from all over the world. Directors like Fritz Lang (Austria), Hitchcock (UK), Ang Lee (Taiwan), John Woo (Hong Kong) and Guillermo del Toro (Mexico) continued their career in Tinseltown. One week ago started the Korean film maker Chan-wook Park with "Stoker" and last weekend director Niels Arden Oplev from Denmark had his debut with "Dead Man Down" (imdb).

The Danish film maker gained a lot reputation with the original "Girl with a Dragon" series (of course in Danish imdb). Hence I watched his first U.S. movie with some expectations.

"Dead Man Down" didn`t look very Danish and lacked the originality of the "Girl with a Dragon" series. Instead the flick reminded me more of the contemporary Asian cinema. If you have seen Chan-wook Park´s  "The Vengeance Trilogy" (wikipedia), especially his "Oldboy", you could have got some déjà vu impressions. Like Park´s masterpieces  Oplev and screen writer J.H. Wyman delivered an elaborated revenge story connected with a complicated love story, but on a lower quality level. And the violent and hilarious action scenes reminded of the furious Hong Kong cinema. But the solid cinematography delivered some interesting shots from New York that consoled for the lack of originality.

The impressive cast also delivered consolation, mainly Isabelle Huppert, an icon of French cinema. Noomi Rapace (The original Girl with a Dragoon Tatoo). Colin Farrel and other actors also delivered solid performances.

"Dead Man Down" is a passable and modern action movie, but not more.

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