True, no good deed goes unpunished, also not going unpunished? people who paid good money for this movie.
“No Good Deed” stars Idris Elba and Taraji Henson in a thriller about a woman whose ideal life is interrupted when a strange but charming man shows up at her doorstep after a car accident. It’s your typical stranger in the house suspense story, but can the acting prowess of Elba and Henson bring it up to something more? Nah, not really.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, Idris Elba and Taraji Henson do just fine here. In fact, I’d say Elba is the best thing about the movie. He plays this character with the perfect combination of charm and malice so that you are never quite sure exactly what’s going on in that mind and at the same time never confused about what he is doing or the decisions he makes. And if there’s any part of the suspense that works, and I think some of it does, it’s likely due to his intimidating and manipulative presence. Henson too, plays her role just fine, as the wife whose suspicion of the situation grows and turns into all out survival for her and her family. So with both the actors firing on all cylinders, how does this movie fall so flat?
Mostly because there’s nothing new here. The movie progresses in exactly the way you might expect. Which is crazy considering how carefully the producers are supposedly protecting the big plot twist. Now I already promise no spoiler reviews so you don’t need to worry about me giving away the big reveal. But I have to say, there won’t be many audience members who don’t see it coming anyway. It’s one of those twists that feels so telegraphed and obvious that it becomes distracting and annoying that the movie keeps pretending you don’t already know. It’s easily the worst thing about the movie and adds to a feeling of inevitability and boredom waiting for the movie to catch up. Plus it doesn’t help that everything else about the movie feels so derivative. The disconnected husband, the flighty friend, the cut phone lines. Speaking of which, in this day and age of cell phones, is there even any point in cutting phone lines any more? Seriously, let’s say you have a landline, are you running to find that phone in an emergency? The point is, all of this predictability and rehashing only serves to make the audience feel like the movie is the kid hiding under the blanket thinking they can surprise you. Sorry, we see the giant lumps, I mean we can act surprised if that will make you feel better, but we all saw it coming.
When all is said and done, “No Good Deed” is a derivitive movie whose attempt to surprise is short circuited by it’s lack of creativity. It’s only because it’s stars somehow still give decent performances that it survives with a C-