No Good Deed
As a little boy growing up in a suburban home, my parents always reminded me about the dangers of strangers and letting them into your home. When I asked if I should let them in if their hurt, I was still told no as I would have no idea if the individual in question was lying about calling for help. For a kid of seven, this seemed very harsh as I thought we were supposed to help others whenever they needed us. The goody-two-shoes probably would have asked first before letting them in to use a phone. As luck would have it, door to door folks never graced our porch before we moved onto a vineyard. Now that I’m a twenty-something, I thank my parents for that lesson.
I understand now about letting strangers because appearances can be deceiving. It’s not that I tell everyone from girl scouts to Mormons to scram, but you need to consider you’re the outcome before you act. Another instance occurred when I was in college when I heard my dorm door knock when a shady looking student claimed to have left their phone at home and need to use mine for a second. He sounded legitimate, but he looked like a drug user, given his filthy clothes and his constant scratching to the face. Another lesson on strangers is given in No Good Deed.
Convicted felon Colin Evans (played by Idris Elba) makes his case for a release after serving five years for manslaughter, but the board denies him his freedom. His ride back is cut short when he kills the lone guard and driver (you’d think these guys would have more guards) and escapes. He finds his girlfriend Alexis and tries to talk her into coming with him, only to find that she’s been unfaithful. This results in the film’s first kill.
Outside of Atlanta, young mother Terri Granger (played by Taraji P. Henson) is watching her daughter Ryan and baby Sam alone as her husband has gone for a weekend vacation. Her best friend Meg suggests a girl’s night during the impending thunderstorm (code for obvious symbolism). The rain comes along with Colin at the front door, claiming the he just needs a phone after crashing a truck. The all too trusting Terri lets the shadowy-man in to dry up and make chitchat. What starts as a friendly conversation becomes a deadly game of cat and mouse.
What pains me about No Good Deed is that there is nothing original. No new characters, no new setting, no new serial killer, and no new weapons. There’s nothing in the story that surprises us. There’s nothing about Colin that separates him from cardboard cutout killers. There’s nothing about Terri that makes her any stronger then any other stock scared woman character. The conversations the characters have are nothing of interest unless wealthy suburban problems excite you. The chases through darkness are a dime a dozen compared to the hundreds of other burglar in the house scenario. Even the ending doesn’t seem to imply any change within these characters.
No Good Deed may be bad (and I mean awful), but carries the worse distinction of being boring. Even a running time of eighty-two minutes seems too long here. Watching the grandfather clock in my parents home would have been more exciting then this. Watching this movie is like looking at a board game you’ve played a dozen times before, yet you play anyway because there’s at least one more persons whose not familiar. Stupid does not even begin to describe the actions that happen and once the climax is ready to go, I just don’t care any more.
I’ll give this one open door out of five. I really like Idris Elba and is angers me that his acting profession was a waste of thought. I hope that director Sam Miller is next in line for some guillotine that can put his film career out of misery.