Movie Review: No Good Deed

Jean-Paul’s Rating: 2/5 stars

Bottom Line: Interesting premise with poor execution.  The surprise twist is somewhat far-fetched.  Idris Elba is still pretty awesome.

If you go to see this movie, pay close attention to Idris Elba’s face.  A difficult task, I know, especially for the ladies.  This is especially true during the intro scene which shows convict Colin Evans (Idris Elba) facing a parole board after serving five years for manslaughter after killing a man in a bar brawl, but we also learn that he was suspected, but never tried, of killing multiple women too.  The parole hearing seems to be going well, one of the guards seems to be on his side and he gives a nice speech to the board members.  Then one of the members starts talking about Evans’ past and comes to the conclusion that Evans is a malignant narcissist.  As the man is talking, you can see Evans’ cool exterior slowly crack until he bursts out an objection.  His parole is denied.

Evans then makes a beeline for his ex fiance.  It is at this point that I know we are in for a bad movie.  An escaped convict who murdered two guards then proceeds to stalk his ex and no police think to stake her out?  Unlikely, to say the least.

Evans eventually falls in to meeting Terri (Taraji P. Henson) after crashing his car in a rain storm.  The two have a very spooky dynamic together.  I am not familiar with Taraji P. Henson, but she seems to be a person to watch.  I’d love to see her with better material.  We know Evans is a killer, but he’s all Mr. Nice Guy with Terri.  He opens up to her and her friend Meg (Leslie Bibb), but once again his exterior cracks when Meg calls him on a ridiculous lie while they’re catching a smoke together.  Again, a danger sign.  The ridiculous lie used to move the story forward because the writer couldn’t come up with a good way to transition to the next act.

The rest of the movie from that point on is your typical maniac horror movie.  You have Terri almost escaping only to be caught again by Evans.  Hit him once.  Run away.  Get caught.  Hit him once.  Run away.  Get caught.  We eventually get to a surprise twist that is laughably unlikely given the personality of Evans, but the movie has to be named “No Good Deed” for some reason I guess.

As an interesting side note, the theater was surprisingly full and was majority Black.  I think it goes to show how much of a dearth of films featuring primarily Black actors there is and how much demand there is.  Come on, Hollywood, give the viewing public what they want!  Only make it a better movie than this one.

My advice to you is to skip this movie and go watch Idris Elba in “Luther”, another fine BBC show.  Or “The Wire”.  I’d also give advice on seeing Taraji P. Henson in something other than this movie, but I haven’t seen her in anything else except the recent remake of “The Karate Kid”, but I don’t really remember that movie.

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