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March 8, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The R-rated thriller Dead Man Down, starring Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace, is being downed by some deadly reviews as it opens against the Wizard of Oz prequel, which is expected to enjoy a great and powerful weekend at the box office. Many critics are trying to kill it off before then. The New York Times‘s Manohla Dargis writes that she was willing to cut the director, Norway’s Niels Arden Oplev, some slack as she watched the movie pile on “its absurdities so fast and with such apparent “obliviousness that you hope (pray) you’ll soon be watching either a diverting art-film intervention, like Werner Herzog’s remake of Bad Lieutenant, or joy riding with one of those rarest of screen delights: the demented howler.” Unfortunately, she adds, the movie “turns out to be too innocuous to qualify as either.” Similarly Ty Burr comments in the Boston Globe: “The script by J.H. Wyman steps deeper and deeper into narrative implausibility until you throw up your hands and stop giving the film the benefit of the doubt.” Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times gives the movie a so-so review, calling it a “slow-simmering potboiler” that “feels like it’s trying too hard.” But Rick Groen in the Toronto Globe and Mail maintains that “this is one of those plot-heavy scripts that carries its weight with confidence. … Adds up to an entertaining picture.”