In many ways, “Dead Man Down” is a boilerplate revenge thriller. The story of two haunted and damaged loners drawn together by their mutual desire for vengeance (albeit against two different villains) features several of the signature moves of the genre
The first loner, Beatrice (Noomi Rapace), is a beauty whose face has been scarred in a car accident. She wants to murder the drunk driver who hit her, because he got off with a slap on the wrist. And how do we know that? Because Beatrice has saved the old newspaper clippings in a shoe box. Like so many of us who have been hurt, she sifts through them periodically, presumably to remind herself that, despite looking like a hot Swedish movie star, life can be tough.
Colin Farrell plays her counterpart, Victor, a professional thug whose apartment — across the street from Beatrice’s, has a secret room filed with an array of photos, maps, high-tech spy gear and other serial-killer-style paraphernalia. When he isn’t maintaining his sexy, three days’ growth of stubble or acting as an enforcer for his mobster boss (Terrence Howard), Victor spends his downtime brooding over home movies of a mysterious woman and child — and plotting retribution.