Elba’s made an er­ror with this...

Rutherglen Reformer - - The Ticket -

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

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