No Good Deed is Indeed Mediocre


A Movie Review by Garrett Wheeler

Garrett Wheeler, Opinion Editor

Idris. Elba. That’s all I needed to know to get me interested in this movie; I’d never even seen any trailers. All I knew was that it involved home invasion and this beautiful man would star. He won me over with his performance in the highly dumb yet incredibly awesome Pacific Rim. The line “today we are cancelling the apocalypse” gives me chills every time. Anyway, I went into this movie without knowing what to expect. What I got was, ultimately, mediocrity.

No Good Deed is a movie starring Taraji P. Henson as Terri and the before mentioned Idris Elba as Colin. Colin is an escaped convict and Terri is a housewife whose husband is out of town. Colin just recently commits a murder on his girlfriend because he realizes that she’s been cheating on him since he’s been in prison. As he’s driving away, he accidentally crashes his car into a tree in the middle of a thunderstorm. He goes to the closest house he can find for help, which so happens to be Terri’s house. She offers help, and Colin decides to return the favor by terrorizing her and her family. This turns into a cat and mouse battle as Terri tries to survive Colin’s wrath. Will she survive? Will Colin get his revenge? Do you actually care?

I would understand if you don’t.

One of the biggest problems with this movie is how derivative the plot is. Throughout the movie, I was thinking to myself, “I’ve seen this before”. The story suffers from a “been done before story” and multiple clichés throughout.
The story probably would’ve been slightly better if it wasn’t so predictable. Right from the beginning, I could tell what was going to happen and where the movie would end up. No Good Deed leaves nothing to the imagination and never really takes any risks.
However, I thought the plot twist was good. It really came out of nowhere and it was one that I didn’t expect. And it gives a method to Colin’s madness. After this, you understand why Colin has gotten into this murder spree. Is it the best plot twist in the world? No, but it was definitely clever.

At the first half of the movie, the pacing feels really slow. It seems to take forever for the movie to get truly interesting. At some point in the first half, I was thinking to myself “where is this going?” It went somewhere, but it took a little too long. Luckily, the second half has some exciting moments and some good tension that picks the pace up some. I wish the first half had something to make things more interesting. Maybe if they cut out a few parts, it would’ve been more bearable. Sorry, but one brutal murder isn’t good enough to make the first half of the movie worth investing our full attention into.

Like I said, the second half has some good tension and action to truly keep the viewer excited for what’s going to happen next. What hurts the experience, though, is the use of shaky-cam. Most of the time, shaky-cam is pointless and nauseating to watch and here it was no different. There’s obviously some intense stuff going on here, but the constant shaking of the camera makes it so hard to see. And during the dialogue scenes, the camera is perfectly still. Why don’t you love me, cinematographer?

No Good Deed’s lighting is even worse than its shaky-cam. Everything in this movie is lit so dark that it’s hard to see anything. The worse thing about this, is that it gets in the way of Idris Elba’s performance. He is supposed to be creepy and his creepiness needs to be translated to facial expressions. With this lighting, his face is so hard to read most of the time. If the lights were turned up more, this would be much more bearable.
Speaking of Idris Elba, he is the best part of the movie. This dude is a creep. He does a great job keeping the viewer interested in what he’s going to do next. He’s also very convincing as a womanizing escaped convict. And his American accent is pretty good with very few moments of him slightly switching to his regular accent.

Critics have been bashing this movie, which currently has a 14% on Rotten Tomatoes. While I completely understand where that score is coming from, I personally found the movie alright. No Good Deed is a movie you’re probably going to be pretty bored with, but it might be worth a shot. I suggest waiting until it goes to the dollar film. That way, it will actually feel like a good deed.

I give this movie a 5 out of 10. Don’t worry about rushing to the theaters for this one.