Dave White
No Good Deed Review

Dave's Rating:


No good anything.

Colin Evans (Idris Elba) is a "malignant narcissist." You know this about him because he is described with that phrase at least half a dozen times during this film's quickly evaporating 84 minutes. Colin is also up for parole after five years in prison for murder. Young women are missing because of him. He is a dangerous man.

Denied the parole he thinks he deserves, he makes a break for it, killing two guards in the process. And after stopping in to pay a house call on a former fiancée (Kate del Castillo), he heads to the comfortable home of Terri (Taraji P. Henson), alone with her two small children on A Dark And Stormy Night while her husband (Henry Simmons) is out of town on a golfing trip.


It is at this point that the film decides to be as stupid as possible. And while it is somewhat plausible that an otherwise intelligent, heterosexual woman would be a little flustered by the gift of Idris Elba on her front porch, it doesn't stand to reason that that woman would immediately, without any consideration for her or her children's safety, allow him inside.

But she does. And the danger increases. And shirts come off. And other characters arrive. And they do nothing. Including cops. And every single opportunity for escape is ignored or wasted.

It would be hilarious if it weren't so frustrating and tedious. Director Sam Miller (TV's Luther, also starring Elba) presides over a lifeless mess of fake "gotcha" moments, rote thriller-cam work,and music cues jacked up to full-tilt dissonance in order to constantly remind the audience that this is very, very scary. It ain't.

And that's not even taking into account The Big Twist. Don't worry, I won't be giving it away. But understand that it's a twist that destroys earlier plot elements, one that ruins your faith in plot twists. It's lazy. It's thoughtless.

The requisite comeuppances and "strong woman pushed to the brink" elements will be enough to provoke audience group-yelling at rowdy, late-night screenings. But those last-act treats aren't enough to salvage the rest. In fact, the list of "not enough" is pretty lengthy: not enough tension, not enough craziness, not enough fear, not enough evil, not enough outlandish plotting (especially disappointing, in that it comes from the producers of the nutty Beyonce/Idris Elba thriller Obsessed), not enough heavy-duty revenge, and an overall deficiency of the most intangible quality required of a howlingly awesome garbage-thriller: the Good-Bad. This is just the Bad-Bad, the Dull-Bad, the Sorry-Bad, the Who-Cares-Bad. Next time maybe call Beyonce?


Dave's recent reviews

All Dave White's Movie Reviews