When I first saw the trailer I thought it looked different enough to be at least decent. Even though the WWE logo plays at the beginning I still wanted to give this one a chance. Until this I haven’t come across a WWE backed film that was in anyway good; check their upcoming film The Call for reference. I figured though with a director that has proven himself with the Swedish made The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and a very solid cast to back Dead Man Down I thought it had a real shot at not being terrible. Well I saw the film today and I’m happy to report that it was a damn good thriller. Colin Farrell stars and not every one of his performances have been fantastic but I thought after the wonderful performance he put in for Seven Psychopaths that maybe he could do it again. While this is nowhere near as unique as Seven Psychopaths is it certainly came out better than I had anticipated. I also can’t fail to mention the very lovely Noomi Rapace is the female lead and plays as the love interest as well as instigator.
Colin Farrell plays as Victor, a hired thug for a mafia type known as Alphonse. Alphonse has a problem, for the last three months someone has been terrorizing him with threats and odd deliveries with random pieces of photos thrown inside. Now the threats are more real than ever when they find one of Alphonse’s trusted employees stuffed into a freezer. The game is no longer something he can ignore. Alphonse suspects someone and brings his henchmen to confront a fellow group of mafia types. With hardly any evidence Alphonse shoots the leader in the head setting off a big shootout. After the dust has settled the enemy is dead but Alphonse has just killed someone who he wasn’t approved to kill which means he must answer to some very angry Italian types. Victor being one of the henchmen gets out with his life but barely. When he arrives in his apartment later on he goes to his window looking out to an apartment building across the way. There he sees a pretty woman staring back at him and so she waves and he waves back. The following day he goes to his mailbox and finds a letter from the woman with her phone number inside. He calls and makes small talk and eventually asks her to dinner.
After dinner goes smoothly she tells him she wants to take him somewhere. After a few minutes of driving she asks him to pull over. She points out a house across the street and makes special note of the man standing in the window. She tells Victor that man ruined her life, that man gave her the major scars all over the left side of her face. Suddenly their nice evening turns to something more malicious. Beatrice tells Victor that she saw him murder a man in his apartment and shows video evidence to prove it. She gives Victor a choice to either murder the man that ruined her life or she will tell the police what Victor did. Seeing no other way he agrees to kill the man.
As time progresses we start to see Victor in another light. At first he is just a thug that kills people but eventually we start to hear about his past and what he plans for his future. Victor is not actually who he says he is, he had another peaceful life until Alphonse and an Albanian gang turned his life into a living hell. A few years prior Victor had a family, a wife and a daughter. Alphonse enters his life when he wants to take over the apartment building where Victor happened to live. Refusing to leave Victor and his family suffered through harassment and threats until they left. One night a threat turned deadly when someone fired a shot trying to scare them, well the bullet tore through the wall and killed his daughter in her sleep. Knowing they couldn’t just leave this alone they try to kill Victor and his wife to tie up any loose ends. Victor makes it out alive and filled with only the thought of revenge. In such a short period of time Victor loses his entire family to the carelessness and evil that is Alphonse.
Coming back to present day Victor works for Alphonse for the sole purpose of getting close to him. Victor has been the one screwing with Alphonse the entire time and aims to end it all with a bang. Until he had met Beatrice he never thought there could be a life outside the demise of Alphonse. He starts to see that maybe a life is possible if he can see his way out after getting his revenge of course. He may be falling for her but nothing will come between him and killing the man that has caused so much pain. Putting the last piece into play he readies himself for his final showdown with his former boss. Beatrice sees what he plans on doing and that he may not see a way out alive. She decides to interfere and hopefully make him realize that he doesn’t need to die. In doing this however, Victor’s plan is messed up and Beatrice ends up getting herself kidnapped. Knowing he has nothing left but to fight for this woman he has fallen for, he raids Alphonse’s estate in a blaze of glory and a major gun battle begins. Body after body falls, explosions left and right, a vehicle in the living room, it’s just anarchy. After the dust settles Victor finds Alphonse dead and Beatrice lying on the ground scared out of her mind. He picks her up and they escape to carry on their damaged lives, but now they have each other.
This ended being much more in depth than I thought it could be I that’s what loved about it. On the surface it’s an action thriller but beneath it all it’s a love story about two torn individuals and in the most absurd and violent of ways they find one another. She sees herself as a badly disfigured woman with nothing to offer and misplaced hatred toward a man that ruined everything for her. She hates this man and thinks she wants him dead but thankfully Victor enters her life and through him she learns that continuance in life is not possible only through this man’s death. Victor is a man that lost everything, his wife and child and the only way to live on is to die killing the man that took everything from him. When he meets Beatrice she allows him for the first time in years to focus on something other than killing Alphonse. It is a revenge movie and those have been done time and time again but with the added love story it’s given a bit of humanity that for me made it stick out more than the rest.
Rated R for: violence, language throughout and a scene of sexuality
Runtime: 110 minutes
After Credits Scene: None
Starring: Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace, Terrence Howard, Dominic Cooper
Directed By: Niels Arden Oplev
Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 4/ Acting: 3.5/ Directing: 4/ Visuals: 4
OVERALL: 4 Nerdskulls