Colin Farrell has more than proven himself as a great actor in the right project, but it surely can’t be a coincidence that the weakest efforts of his career have tended to come when he tries his hand at playing an action hero. Obviously he’ll get a lot of those offers as a charming, handsome and charismatic guy, but it would be generous to call the likes of S.W.A.T., The Recruit and the Total Recall remake bland as hell.
The proven method to get the best out of the 44 year-old is to either cast him in a scene-stealing supporting role as we’ve seen in Minority Report, Ben Affleck’s Daredevil, Horrible Bosses, 2011’s Fright Night and Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen, or position him as the lead in a black comedy, which saw him win a Golden Globe for In Bruges and land another nomination for The Lobster.
Dead Man Down is a mid-budget action thriller that finds Farrell’s wannabe gangster embedding himself in the criminal empire run by Terrence Howard’s villain, although he’s got an ulterior motive in mind. His neighbor eventually discovers his secrets, and threatens to give the entire game away unless he helps her with her own revenge-fuelled plot.
That logline should tell you pretty much everything you need to know about Dead Man Down in terms of originality, and while it’s not a great movie by any means, it’s become the latest B-level actioner to crack the Top 10 most-watched list on Netflix. It’s easily one of Colin Farrell‘s more forgettable efforts by far and flopped at the box office after earning just $18 million on a $30 million budget, but the genre continues to be reliably popular with subscribers to the world’s biggest streamer.