As a Golden Globe winning star that’s given a string of memorable performances dating back two decades in films like Minority Report, Phone Booth, In Bruges, Crazy Heart, Horrible Bosses, Seven Psychopaths, The Lobster and more, there’s no denying that Colin Farrell is a great actor. However, you could also make the well-founded argument that he sucks as an action hero.
S.W.A.T., The Recruit and the Total Recall remake are all formulaic blockbusters that don’t give the leading man much chance to lean into his roguish charisma, and it’s no coincidence that he fared much better chewing on the scenery as a bad guy in Ben Affleck’s Daredevil, 2011’s Fright Night, and as an unscrupulous boxing trainer in Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen.
Another case in point is Dead Man Down, an utterly forgettable action thriller that earned just $18 million at the box office against a $30 million budget back in 2013. It’s not an awful movie by any means, but it’s about as by the numbers as you could expect from a story following a gangster who embeds himself in a criminal outfit, only for those around him to discover that Farrell’s Victor is not who he seems.
His neighbor uncovers the truth, threatening to expose him unless he lends her an assist with her own plan of revenge, and based on that logline you could probably figure out the majority of the biggest plot beats yourself. That being said, Netflix subscribers have always been drawn to diverting mid budget genre fare, and Dead Man Down definitely ticks that box. It’s even managed to crack the Top 10 most-watched list, so a whole new audience has clearly been found.