Monday, November 14, 2016

SCREEN GEMS THRILLERS: No Good Deed (2014)

It's weird that, despite Obsessed's success, Screen Gems did not immediately try for a follow-up. Instead we had to wait six years for this hostage thriller. Starring Obsessed's leading man Idris Elba and the always excellent Tarji P. Henson, No Good Deed is easily the most generic movie on this list.



Colin Evans (Idris Elba) is a serial killer who was caught on a manslaughter charge. He’s a ‘malignant narcissist' -- we know this because the guy on the parole board says it 5 or 6 times. It is somewhat questionable when it’s an old white southern gent telling the rest of the parole board that a black man should not be released from prison. Anyway Colin escapes from his prison van after the parole hearing. 

Henson plays Terry, a prosecutor-turned-mum who misses having a sense of agency and purpose. While her husband is at work, she is stuck at home minding her daughter. Leslie Bibb plays Henson’s bestie Meg, a sex-crazed woman who spends her screen time oogling everyone with a Y chromosome and pushing Terry to get some extra-marital action. Terry's banal existence is shattered when Colin slips into her home and takes her hostage. 


This is a weird statement to make but this movie is hilariously boring. The script is an endurance test for the viewer, as our central characters keep acting in the dumbest ways possible. The plot can be summarised as this:

Henson hits Elba on the head with a vase.

ELBA: Don't do that.


HENSON: Okay.


Elba turns his back. Henson hits him with a poker.


ELBA: Don't do that.


HENSON: Okay.


Repeat that formula about 15 more times and you get the general idea. It's basically the makings of a great drinking game.

The direction is plodding, with no attempt at atmosphere or tension beyond colour grading. Henson and Elba are okay in their respective roles, but they have almost nothing to work with. I would say the movie makes you wish they were in a much better movie, but this movie will have you in a coma by minute 20. 


Definitely the worst film in this cycle. 

Previous reviews

Obsessed (2009)

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