Man Down was shot in 2014 but has been kept on the shelves since, apart from playing at the 2015 Venice Film Festival and the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. It found its home with Lionsgate, and is getting distribution later this year.
Man Down takes place in a post-apocalyptic America though that doesn’t become clear from the trailer. LaBeouf plays U.S. Marine Gabriel Drummer looking for his son Jonathan (Charlie Shotwell) accompanied by his best friend fellow Marine Devin Roberts (Jai Courtney) and another survivor (Clifton Collins Jr.).
The trailer is riddled with “coming home” film tropes, such as war scenes that look like American Sniper outtakes, home front scenes that look like they were taken out of the 2009 Hollywood remake Brothers, and the way Jai Courtney is presented in the trailer seems to signal that he dies at some point in this film. I wasn’t a big fan of the music used in the trailer but there is no guarantee this music will make it into the film so I can’t hold that against the film.
The slightly deceptive thing about this trailer is that at the end, the following quote is shown: “LaBeouf achieves that authentic, hurts-to-watch approach seldom seen since the days of Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift.” This is a quote from a Variety review which was published after the Venice premiere of the film, however, the review was actually quite negative, and even this comment about Shia LaBeouf’s performance was not what the trailer wants you to believe.
The full quote was as follows “Digging deep and mumbling his lines, LaBeouf achieves that authentic, hurts-to-watch approach seldom seen since the days of Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift, only to have his performance lacquered over with artificial-looking camerawork and a handful of treacly Jimmy Haun ballads on the soundtrack.”
With all that being said, I’m still curious to find out what the post-apocalyptic angle of the film is as I do enjoy that type of film.
Man Down is directed by Dito Montiel, and stars Shia Labeouf, Jai Courtney and Kate Mara. The film will be released in the U.S. on December 2. Find international release dates here.
Let me know what you think of the trailer in the comments section.
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