You’ve heard the phrase, “it’s better than nothing.” Well, somethings are not. Last night, John went to the Red Box and brought back “Dead Man Down.” He said there was just nothing in the Red Box. He was right.
Read a book. That is always better than nothing.
Such is “Dead Man Down,” a thriller that piles 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. “Dead Man Down,” unfortunately, turns out to be too innocuous to qualify as either actually good or delectably bad. Yet while Colin Farrell and his sensitive, hardworking eyebrows help keep it from becoming a full-bore lampoon, the gangland clichés, nutty plot and seemingly random casting choices (F. Murray Abraham, Armand Assante, Isabelle Huppert) stoke your hopes that true movie madness may rise out of the darkening shadows and pessimism.