There is certainly something to be said for a well-crafted relationship-thriller. If you haven’t seen Fatal Attraction, or don’t remember it, you should probably check it out again. Michael Douglas’s character has a fling affair with Glenn Close’s character, except, she turns out to be crazy, and comes after he and his wife, played by Anne Archer. It’s pretty epic, and there were plenty of movies after it that adopted a similar storyline. One that changed the story a little (he didn’t cheat, but the girl was still crazy) was the movie Obsessed, starring Idris Elba, Beyonce, and Ali Larter. It’s pretty intense, and has an incredible fight sequence at the climax.
Sam Miller, who has previously directed a lot of Luther episodes, directs this new entry into the relationship-thriller genre. It’s entertaining, it’s shot well, and it’s super fun to watch in a full theater.
No Good Deed (not to be confused with the 2002 No Good Deed starring Samuel L. Jackson, Milla Jovovich and Stellan Skarsgaard – so two Avengers cast members) twists the typical story a little to give it just enough difference to keep it interesting. It takes place over the course of one day. Colin Evans is a convicted felon, who was convicted of assaulting a man in a bar fight, but may have actually killed 5 women (but wasn’t convicted of that crime). He’s up for parole, and we are introduced to him as he gives his speech stating he’s reformed, and he’s sorry about that fight (he beat up a guy who was talking to his girl). The parole board seems to buy it, but one member of the board states that Colin is a “malignant narcissist” and probably did kill those 5 women, blah blah blah. Now, I’m not adding in the ‘blahs’ because the guy goes on and on – the audience literally does not get to hear what the guy is saying as we go into Colin’s “rage-vision” for the first time in the movie. Everything goes a bit blurry and static-y. He stands up, furious, but is cut off, denied parole, and heads back to the paddy wagon to be shipped back to prison. He promptly fakes a nosebleed and busts out.
We then get introduced to Terri and her husband, Jeffrey. They’ve got two kids, a toddler and a brand new baby, and they seem to be disconnecting. Jeffrey is heading out to pick up his dad for a golfing weekend, and Terri is disappointed that he didn’t come home early enough to let her go to the store. After promising her that they will talk after the weekend, and schedule some time for themselves, he takes off, and Terri’s friend Meg promises to come over for a girl’s night since Jeffrey will be out of town.
We reconnect with Colin as he is stalking what seems to be a random woman as she lunches with some dude. She goes home to unload her groceries to find out that Colin is in her house – it turns out she’s his ex-fiancee. He tells her he found a note from her boyfriend on the bed, and wants to know who she’s been with – she tries to placate him, but then he goes into rage-vision again and kills her. He then heads out in a stolen truck, gets all rage-visiony in the car and crashes. We see him walk down the road and up the driveway to Terri’s house. What follows from here is some tense moments as he pretends to be an injured car accident victim – and she lets him use her phone, then lets him in the house – then tells him her husband isn’t home (at this moment, there was a lot of yelling at the screen from the packed theater I was in). The situation gets worse when Meg comes over, Terri eventually figures out that Colin is bad news –then there’s a bit of a twist, that I won’t ruin for you, but I really enjoyed. The end is really satisfying.
The cast is entertaining, although really, there are not many people in the movie:
- Idris Elba stars as Colin, and while I really do want him to be the next James Bond, he does a decent job of faking a Southern American accent for this movie. Personally, I enjoy his own british accent better, but hey – what can you do. He’s still too incredibly beautiful to completely buy as a villain (maybe that's just me), but the movie does a good job of convincing you that he’s irredeemable. He’s incredibly magnetic on screen and does a good job as this bad guy. Also - be sure to catch the season of The Office that he was on - he was hilarious.
- Taraji P. Henson plays Terri, and while I can’t blame her for letting him in – honestly, if Idris Elba showed up wet on my door step, I’d let him in too. Once she figures out the issue, she does a good job of keeping her kids safe and defending herself. She’s always good, and it was fun to see her in this movie.
- Leslie Bibb plays the BFF Meg, who is just nosy enough to set off the terrifying parts of the evening. She’s perfect as the annoying friend, and did a great job.
- Kate del Castillo plays Angie – the dead ex-fiancee. We don’t spend any real time with her, we just watch her scramble to avoid Colin just before he kills her.
- Henry Simmons (who will be on Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD this upcoming season) plays Jeffrey, who does a really great job of making you dislike him intensely.
That’s about it – the front half of the movie is Idris convincing you he’s evil – the midsection is him trying to convince Taraji and Leslie he’s okay – and the final third is the cat and mouse chess game between he and Taraji. It’s short – it’s rated PG13, which I really appreciated (as an R, this could have gone really dark and disturbing, and I didn’t really want that). It’s great to see in a full theater – a full theater of Idris Elba fans is even better.
7 out of 10 – Bonus points for the gratuitous scene of Idris slowly changing shirts – and double Bonus points for the even more gratuitous scene of him stripping down to shower off the fire extinguisher (Sam Miller is clearly a director who has been working with Elba long enough to know what his fan base wants, even if he is playing a creep. Lost points for Terri having worked as a prosecuting lawyer in the D.A.’s office and still not picking up on the villain in her house. Lost points for Meg not picking up on the danger, and then once she did, not simply running to call for help instead of throwing it in his face. And really lost points for that cop not picking up on the villain in the car – They share APBs of escaped convicts over state lines, right?
Bonus Video 1: The other No Good Deed trailer:
Bonus Video 2: Idris canceling the apocalypse in Pacific Rim.
Bonus Video 3: The Office - He is aware of the effect he has on women:
Bonus Video 3: Cast Interviews:
Bonus Video 3: Cast Interviews: