NO GOOD DEED (2014)
Directed by Sam Miller
After crashing his stolen car in the storm, escaped convict Colin knocks on the door of housewife Terri who’s husband is away for the weekend. Initally concerned about letting a stranger into her home, she eventually lets him inside to wait for the tow truck to come pick him up, especially as he’s bleeding from a head wound. With a lack of male attention in recent times, Terri is charmed by the smooth-talking, handsome Colin but it’s not long before she begins to realise something is not quite right, at which point she’ll have to fight for her own and her children’s survival.
Dramatic thriller NO GOOD DEED explores one woman’s battle and survival after a home invasion as she must defend her family from a lethal stranger who’s has a history of violence towards women. A slow-burning, tense, gripping story unwinds as we see how courage and inner strength must be summoned when dealing with a threat towards not only one life, but that of an entire family.
Idris Elba plays the smart, calculating killer Colin. He seems charming from the outside, with his buff physique and quiet yet mysterious demeanor a turn on for bored and put-upon housewife Terri. Little does she know that underneath the surface, an overpowering, violent evil is just waiting to be unleashed at any moment.
Terri (Taraji P. Henson) is a full-time housewife, looking after daughter Ryan and her baby son. We learn that prior to marriage, she used to be a high flying lawyer dealing with homicide cases. Since becoming a wife and a mother, her role is cook, cleaner and minder, not just in her children’s minds but in also her husband’s. With the spark gone from her relationship with her husband and her efforts to reignite their passion rebuffed, Terri is a shell of her former self. With the arrival of Colin, a good-looking stranger who compliments her and engages in conversation with her, she begins to let down her guard which is the worst thing she could do…
Though NO GOOD DEED is an entertaining thriller with tremendous performances from both Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson, there isn’t enough to set it apart and lift it above and beyond other thrillers of a similar theme. However, it works perfectly well as it is with enough tension built up over the duration of the film to make the danger feel very real and intense. There’s nothing inflated about the plot or script, with the actions and reactions unravelling as you would expect if in the situation yourself. The way in which Terri handles the situation, particularly with her two young kids involved, is subtle and believable which provides a certain threat and power to both the Colin and Terri characters. Even in scenes where little is said, Idris’ body language is enough to intimidate as Colin.
Tense, on-the-edge-of-your-seat suspense, NO GOOD DEED is a solid home invasion thriller but just not a very memorable one.