In my latest piece for the Telegraph, I apply myself to examining the subgenre I have called The Preposterous Thriller, in which characters and their behaviour bear no relation not just to life as we know it but to any sort of properly structured fiction we may hitherto have encountered. Favourite examples include Color of Night, Basic Instinct 2, Mindhunters and Knight Moves.
In Dead Man Down, Noomi Rapace plays a scarred New York beautician who asks Hungarian hitman Colin Farrell to kill the man whose drunk driving caused her disfigurement. There are gangsters getting bumped off one by one, more chat about Tupperware than you normally get in revenge thrillers, plus a clutch of wacky one-liners such as, “Rabbits don’t come in chartreuse”. And Isabelle Huppert pops up in a green facepack as Noomi’s deaf mother.
But these elements are par for the course for today’s thrillers, which seem to have given up all pretence to plausibility in favour of non sequiturs and baffling plot developments. Dead Man Down implodes in an imbroglio of unnecessarily complicated murders, a badly hidden secret room, questionable fashion choices and a collapsing house. It’s a Preposterous Thriller.
To read more, please click on the picture to be taken on an interplanetary hayride to the Telegraph‘s website.
- Four New Crime Thriller Books (and a Movie) (crimethrillerfella.wordpress.com)