Taraji P. Henson plays (Terri), a stay-at-home mom/ex-domestic violence lawyer who for the sake of advancing a predicable plot, lets escaped convict (Idris Elba), charm his way into her home after posing as a stranded motorist in “No Good Deed.”
Oh, did I mention that Elba’s character Colin Evans, has a history of terrorizing women? He’s not a nice guy. A fact that the audience knows thanks to newscaster’s narrative at the beginning of the film. However, Henson doesn’t have a clue until things start going sideways it this “Cape Fear” wannabe.
Despite telling the parole board that he’s a changed man, Colin’s parole is denied as one board member, who associates Colin to the likes of Jeffrey Dahmer, isn’t buying his repentance. Pissed off, Colin escapes by killing his guards, and finds time to brutally beat his ex-girlfriend to death before ending up on Henson’s doorstep. What a guy, huh?
“No Good Deed” operates as a run-of-the-mill home-invasion thriller. There’s no delving into the mind of what makes a psychopath tick. It’s a by the numbers monster-in-the-house flick that never challenges the intelligence of its audience, which would have raised the whole level of the film.
That’s not to say “No Good Deed” doesn’t have its suspenseful moments. It does. But there’s not enough of those moments, because the suspense is restricted to a handful of small set pieces. FYI: A critics screening of this film was abruptly canceled. The reason given: Screen Gems wanted to guard the uninspired plot-twist. Can you blame them? It’s the worse plot twist in the history of filmdom. Which gives credence to the fact that “No Good Deed” should have gone straight to DVD.
Elba and Henson are effective and compelling actors, but their chops isn’t enough to save the film of a poorly written script. There’s little good to find in “No Good Deed.”
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