I haven’t going to the movies too often in the past few years. I’ve just grown much more invested in television where you genuinely find yourself attached to characters as they evolve over the course of a few seasons. It’s hard for me to care about a character when I only spend two hours with them, so it’s a miracle I even found No Good Deed absorbing with its 84 minute running time.
The film’s premise is pretty straightforward: a lonely housewife welcomes a mysterious stranger into her home one rainy night (the aforementioned good deed in the title) and soon suffers the consequences when all is not what it seems. The premise is refreshingly simple, and the film’s short duration ensures you stay invested in this home-invasion story right until the very end.
That’s not to say the film’s script is totally believable, with a whole lot of storm-related contrivances popping in every once in a while. Nevertheless, I was never bored, and that has to count for something when films these days so often seem to drag on with nary a character to get invested in. In fact, the film is kept afloat by its two stars and their fantastic chemistry. Terri, No Good Deed‘s heroine, is a protagonist you actually root for. Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson is somewhat awkward at first, but soon morphs into a formidable force who ferociously begins to take matters into her own hands. As for our baddie, Idris Elba is incredible from the start. The guy oozes menace on every level, and he’s a terrifically sinister presence who really supplies the film with a sense of urgency. The two performers are definitely the film’s greatest strength.
I’ve always been a fan of productions that manage to contain a story’s events to a single setting, and director Sam Miller successfully manages to sustain the film’s momentum throughout a handful of locations until the final twist (and yes, it’s an effective one).
An engrossing albeit somewhat unbelievable thriller. If you’re looking for an exciting little diversion at the movies, No Good Deed is an enjoyable enough ride.