Dave's Rating:


Or is that up?

[Note to readers: In order to adequately convince you to see this illogical, ridiculous, gun-crazy and occasionally Tupperware-themed movie, I have to spoil some plot points, none of which are treated like huge revelations by the film itself. I consider them selling points, really, but I just want you to be aware that they're coming. Stop reading now if you're not into it. But you should be into it because this movie is nuts.]

When a filmmaker (Niels Arden Oplev, Swedish director of the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) decides to allow a crime thriller's lone-wolf vigilante (Colin Farrell) to rescue his kidnapped, disfigured, beautician girlfriend/blackmailer (Noomi Rapace, the original dragon-tattooed girl) from certain death by crashing a pickup truck into the Albanian-thug-guarded hideout of a homicidal drug lord (Terrence Howard, who is, in turn, being stalked by Farrell for the murder of Farrell's family), you cheer that act of gung-ho heroism. You cheer more when the hero leaps from the cab of the truck with a blazing machine gun.

And then you think, "Wait, how did he know wasn't mowing her down with that truck since he had no way of knowing where inside the house she was being held? Did I miss the part where Colin Farrell has X-ray vision? What's going on with the giant fireball? Won't they die in that? Is Farrell just trying to kill her, too, since she's blackmailing him even though she's also in love with him? And if she dies or gets her face entirely burned off and she can't go back to work at her job of being a terrible beautician then who will take care of her near-deaf mother Isabelle Huppert? (!) Are some of those walk-on Albanian gangsters actual real-life wrestlers? Is that why the WWE made this movie? What's going on here? Why are these people behaving this way? And is it possible for me to love cinema any more than I do in this moment?"

Backing up for the sake of whatever clarity is possible, the plot revolves around Farrell, an employee of drug boss Howard, the man who killed Farrell's wife and child. Farrell is secretly -- and very slowly -- closing in on his prey when, while vacuuming his apartment, he meets neighbor Rapace, whose face was slashed by a drunk driver. She, too, wants revenge and woos Farrell into a budding romance only to turn the tables on him by announcing that she once saw him murder a man (and took a phone video to prove it, thanks Rear Window) and now he must murder the drunk driver who scarred her face or else she'll notify the proper authorities that he's a killer himself. They keep dating after this, though, because why not? She makes him cookies and delivers them in Huppert's favorite Tupperware bowl, which then becomes its own plot point. I'm not kidding: Isabelle Huppert spends the rest of the movie saying, "Huh? What? I can't hear you," and nagging everybody to give her back her Tupperware. This is a terrific, clearly appropriate use of Isabelle Huppert.

Armand Assante and F. Murray Abraham pop up, too, as does Dominic Cooper as Farrell's good-hearted crime-bro. And more people die -- especially during the big truck crash/shootout -- because the movie arbitrarily decides they die, just like it randomly decides when to be outlandish and when to be earnest and when to be comedy and when to be a downbeat relationship drama and when to be a Euro-vision of what American action movies are supposed to be. It's bad, fascinating filmmaking that never gets tired of being bad and fascinating. And on those terms, the ones that allow for detours into the realm of brain damage, it's a complete success. They didn't feel like spoilers at all, now did they?


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