release date: 12 September 2014
run time: 84 mins
considered: Crime, Horror, Thriller
director: Sam Miller
starring: Taraji P. Henson, Idris, Elba, Leslie Bibb, Kate del Castillo, Henry Simmons, Frank Brennan, Kenny Alfonso, Mirage Moonschein, Wilbur Fitzgerald, Kelly O’Neal, Tatom Pender, Dolan Wilson
movie summary: In the state of Tennessee, Colin Evans (Idris Elba) is currently serving time for the aggravated murders of five women. At his parole hearing Colin is about to be set free when one of the parole board members, overlooking his case, votes no for his release forcing Colin back to prison for five more years. He says that through his research and psychological profiling, Colin gets thrills out of killing people and no matter what he says about being reformed, if he released he will kill again. Colin holds back his anger and frustrations until he is transported back to prison where he breaks free killing two guards on his way out.
Colin hits the back roads wearing his bloody prison uniform before he steals a car and heads to Atlanta Georgia where stalks a beautiful girl at the local cafe. He really does fit the psychopath killer type, the kind of guy who stalks his prey before he goes in for the kill. This beautiful girl returns home with several bags of groceries only to be startled when Colin walks into the kitchen right behind her. He is upset that she never wrote him in prison and that she’s seeing another guy. This girl used to be his fiance before dumping him when he got convicted. She tries to calm him down before running upstairs where Colin kills her for calling 911. While cleaning up his bloody clothes, Colin starts to have flashbacks to his murderous ways which cause him to collapse and cry. No matter how much he tries, he is always haunted by his actions.
On the other side of town, Terri (Taraji P. Henson) is a stay at home mom with two kids and a husband who is a lawyer. She is not as sexy as she used to be and is always tired from running after the kids all day long. Her husband comes home to pack for a birthday golfing trip with his dad and is irritated that Terri wants him to watch the kids while she goes to get groceries. Anyone can see the tension in their marriage and that they really have to work at it everyday to stay together. He offers to take Terri on a couples retreat when he gets back and the two share a kiss before he leaves.
A major thunderstorm hits early in the evening and the pouring rain causes Colin to crash his truck into a tree. He makes his way to 17 Creston Road, where Terri is trying to put the baby to bed and feed her daughter dinner. He knocks on the door and asks to use the phone in order to call a tow truck. Terri is hesitate at first but gives him the phone because he’s soaked head to toe. He calls a tow truck, thanks Terri, and then says he’s gonna walk back to his truck to wait it out. Appearing innocent and harmless, Terri decides to let Colin come in to dry off.
The pair share a drink and Terri gives him some clothes to wear while she dries his soaked ones. Colin uses the opportunity to strike up some friendly conversation, inquiring about her husband, friends, and kids. He starts to flirt which catches her attention since her husband hasn’t done that in a long time. As Colin begins to plan out his attack, Terri’s best friend Meg (Leslie Bibb) shows up to have a girls’ night which throws a wrench into his plans. After going out to the garage to share a cigarette, Colin kills Meg to continue his pursuit of Terri. Blinded by his charm, Terri finally realizes there’s danger when he tells her Meg decided to leave early but has left her things in the house. Terri tries her best to get away from Colin by stabbing him and pushing him down the stairs. She grabs her kids and pleads to be let go but Colin will have nothing of it. He packs up the family and puts them in the car in order to drive to his dead ex-girlfriends house.
Inside the house Colin forces Terri to patch up his wounds before they find the dead body and another battle breaks out. She has no clue why he has targeted her but soon the truth will come out and it’s a plot twist no one would see coming. Terri is left all alone now to protect her kids and herself, even if it kills her.
my thoughts: I got to be honest here, can’t even sugarcoat it, this movie was horrible. When I looked up No Good Deeds on Rotten Tomatoes for my weekly preview last Friday, it had a 8% approval rating and when I bought my ticket yesterday it had jumped up to 13%. Today it dropped back down to 11%. I wondered what could have happened in the four days since it’s release and said why not give it a try to see how bad it really was.
The only good part of this movie is Idris Elba’s Colin character. He is built up from the very beginning to be a psychopath killer who will stop at nothing once he sets his mind to it. The news crews that cover the murders and his trial did a fantastic job to profile his character and lead us to believe he is a threat to everyone if he was ever set free. Colin tries to show remorse even when the parole board points out he has a tendency to act out when things go his way. During his escape he murders two guards who knew him and saw a change in him. When he finds out his ex fiance is with another guy, he shows us his dangerous side again by killing her. As sly as he comes across with Terri in the beginning, he explodes when his plan falls a part thanks to an unexpected visitor and the police. Through out the whole movie he continues on his mission to get the girl and all the abuse he will suffer through will not slow him down one bit. I thought it was great character development on the writer’s part and director’s part, Colin was a force to be reckoned with.
On the flip side, Taraji P. Henson could not have looked any worse. The regular everyday beauty toned down her looks to appear like the lonely housewife whose husband has stopped trying in their marriage. What I was concerned about with Terri, who appears to have no survival skills, would be she somehow saves the day by becoming super women and slay the bad guy. Although she doesn’t do anything out of the ordinary to protect her kids, she does use some odd objects in the house to slow Colin down. I wasn’t a fan of the Terri character because she is painted as the lonely house wife who is stupid enough to let a stranger in her house, only to start falling for him when he sweet talks her. Through out their struggles I said she deserves whatever happens because there’s no way I would let that stranger stay in my house for long. Amazingly she worked for the District Attorney’s office yet had no clue who Colin really was and that he was an escaped convict. She just acted so stupid through out the entire movie.
my final thoughts: No Good Deeds did nothing to give us a different perspective of the intruder stalks its prey kind of story. It was a tired recycled plot with characters that were not worth getting invested in. The only surprise in the movie was the plot twist at the end that I did not notice. I was kinda upset that I missed the spot earlier in the movie but it fit nicely together at the end. My advice is to avoid this movie at all costs, I wouldn’t even recommend to watch it at home someday. Even if you like the two main characters, you will be so disappointed.
my star rating: 1 out 10
rottentomatoes.com: 11% out 100%
rogerebert.com: 1 out 4