No Good Deed (2014)

Written by John Chard on August 5, 2015

Generic Guff.

No Good Deed is actually not a bad film as such, it sticks rigidly to a formula and has all the requisite requirements - however ridiculous - for a home invasion thriller, and does it competently. The problem is that it has absolutely nothing new to appeal to anyone who has been watching movies through the 80s and 90s.

The 1990s was particularly a thriving hot-bed for such thriller fare, where some unhinged nut-case - male or female - would impose themselves upon some amiable good person's life, and then unleash mentally distorted hell upon them. Sam Miller's film is just a lazy retread of what has gone long before. Only he and his backers think that shifting the focus to black characters somehow makes it more vibrant. It doesn't.

Idris Alba is a fine actor (in great physical shape as usual), and Taraji P. Henson is a more than effective actress, but the turgid screenplay on offer here does them no favours, where even an intended "big reveal" is hamstrung by the familiarity of it all. If one is fortunate to be of a youthful enough age and lucky enough to be viewing this thriller format for the first time? Then this works, it absolutely does. The more mature film lovers, however, will be jaded to the point of sleep status. And no, that's not meant to be patronising. 4/10