Idris Elba is a fine actor. Mostly in dramas and action, he is charismatic, good looking and suave; a leading man. Taraji P. Henson is likewise a terrific actress, seen most recently in the series hit, Empire. Why oh why, then, would two attractive and blessed performers agree to be in such a tawdry and cheap film like, No Good Deed?
This film is without a shred of decency or class. It is simply another variation of the “Fatal Attraction” synopsis only minus EVERYTHING that made Fatal Attraction work. This is simply garbage. A five year old could come up with a plot better than this and make it work better, as well. It is simplistic; a nut job escapes from a transport and terrorizes a single woman and her children. That’s it. Elba is Colin, a homicidal maniac who is trying to escape the authorities while hiding in plain sight in Terry’s (Taraji Henson) home where she has two children. Her friend, Meg (the always radiant Leslie Bipp) seems to be her only friend, but since we never get to know her, it really does not matter. This film is only about being as unpleasant as it can it be. In that area, it succeeds. There is a subplot of Terry’s significant other, Jeffrey, who is having an affair with a woman named Alexis (Kate del Castillo) , but o be honest after about 20 minutes I could not have cared less.
Director Sam Miller and writer Aimee Lagos are able filmmakers, but this film is so boring, predictable and cliched, it is as if they have watched all of the bad exploitation films while making this one and skipped all of the good ones. Not a pleasant experience. This is a film that seems to take pleasure in being as crappy as it wants to be and it does not even do that well. Ellba provides the menace but it is rather homogenized to ensure a PG-13 rating. Which begs the question; who is the target audience for this nonsense? Do they honestly think that kids are going to be able to relate to this? Do they think most parents are going let their kids watch a film where kids and their mother are terrorized? Some might, but not most. Only Paul Haslinger’s score escapes with its honor. The Tangerine Dream alum has released the score on Amazon Digital Music and it is the only thing worth noting on this film. I thought Hollywood had moved past these films, but there is this and The Boy Next Door with Jennifer Lopez, so clearly, Hollywood is still flogging this dead horse. No Good Deed is definitely a truthful title for the viewer.
No Good Deed- * out of 5
No Good Deed- is rated PG-13 for language, violence and adult situations
No Good Deed- Run Time is 84 minutes (84 minutes too long)