Sam Miller’s “No Good Deed” stars Idris Elba as the escaped convict Colin Evans, and Taraji P. Henson as Terri, his unassuming victim.
After failing to earn parole, Evans successfully escapes from a prison transport van. When he wrecks his car, he happens upon Terri’s suburban home, claiming that it was “the only house with the lights on.” Terri lets him in to use the phone, but soon discovers that there is more to this mysterious stranger than she could have ever imagined.
“No Good Deed” boasted some impressive elements, but it certainly had some major flaws.
Elba’s performance as a narcissistic lunatic was impressive, especially early in the film. Elba’ s Colin Evans was reminiscent of Christian Bale’s Patrick Bateman in the adaptation of “American Psycho.”
The film was a surprising role for Elba, who is more prone to sticking to science-fiction epics like “Pacific Rim,” “Thor: The Dark World,” and “Prometheus,” but was able to successfully portray a chilling psycho.
Unfortunately, Elba’s performance was not enough to hold the entire film together, and it soon falls apart.
Believability was a major blemish on the film, as two presumably intelligent characters make increasingly poor decisions, turning the psychological thriller into a clichéd 90’s slasher film that leaves you wanting to scream at the characters on screen.
Colin Evans, the cold, calculated killer, continues to ignore the obvious choices and instead allows himself to be beaten, thrown down stairs, and stabbed multiple times. Terri, the strong, resourceful survivor refuses to finish off the killer, instead electing to stun him before running off only to be hunted down once again.
Similarly, this film suffers from an uninspired script, and many of the characters come off as flat and one-dimensional.
Terri’s friend Meg, played by Leslie Bibb, is one such character. She is portrayed as a ditzy, promiscuous blonde who speaks in dialogue taken straight out of an issue of Cosmopolitan.
There is some saving grace in the form of the film’s big twist, which did leave many moviegoers in complete shock when it was revealed, however, it simply wasn’t enough.
“No Good Deed” played into every cliché the “home invasion” thriller genre has to offer, and ultimately comes off as bland and weak overall. In the end, “No Good Deed” is essentially a less intelligent “Cape Fear” without the quality parts, and was unable to get past its unoriginal script despite Idris Elba’s performance.