Elba’s made an error with this...
Thor star Idris Elba and his Luther director Sam Miller bring their collective talents to the big screen in this Sleeping with the Enemy-style thriller.
The charismatic Londoner takes on a rare villainous role as an escaped convict called Colin who terrorises mother-of-two Terry (Taraji P. Henson).
Miller has proved he can helm top-quality small-screen drama but right from the opening news report that handily spells out Colin’s full back story, it’s clear his cinematic bow behind the camera is sorely lacking in those levels of intelligence and originality.
He and debut writer Aimee Lagos must have a collective love of early nineties thrillers, as well as the aforementioned Sleeping with the Enemy, Unlawful Entry and The Hand That Rocks the Cradle are clear influences.
They offer nothing fresh to the overdone home invasion ggenre, instead choosingg to fill the movie with clichés galoreg (cop car pull over) and a severe lack of subtlety (“there’s a storm coming”).
The confidence Miller showed creating Detective John Luther’s London-set world seems to have deserted him in his jump to the big screen. Luther would never have put up with rumbles of thunder foreshadowing something ominous.
People make unbelievably dumb decisions, even by lazy Hollywood scripting standards. Terry not only thinks it’s a good idea to let a bleeding stranger into her house but to also then tell this shifty character that she and her young children are home alone.
Suspension of disbelief is impossible when people act in such a stupid way, not helped by head-slapping coincidences like womanbeater Colin invading the home of someone who just happens to be an expert on domestic violence.
Henson could ggive a wonderful performance (she doesn’t) but even if her turn was Oscarworthy, the script saddles her with a character that does nothing to make the audience warm to her.
Leslie Bibb (Meg) contributes little but a memorable exit and Terry’sy husband Jeffreyy (Henry Simmons) is so unlikeable he almost makes Colin look like a good catch.
The only thing just saving No Good Deed from one-star hell is Elba. Volatile, untrustworthy and deliciously toying with his victims, the charismatic Colin makes for a memorable movie psycho.
Pity, then, that he’s more impervious to pain than Halloween’s Michael Myers, although the ladies will be chuffed that all his injuries gives Elba an excuse to take his shirt off repeatedly.
A tacked-on ending features a surprising but improbable twist and tries to turn Henson’s previously ditzy victim into an action heroine.
It’s a gear shift in keeping with the lunacy featured throughout Miller’s shaky first step on the Hollywood ladder.
Unstable mindElba brings the terror as ex-con Colin