Directed by Dean Devlin
Starring – David Tennant, Kerry Condon, Robert Sheehan
The Plot – A valet (Sheehan) develops a clever scam to burglarize the houses of rich customers. Things go smoothly until he robs the wrong customer (Tennant), and discovers ?a woman being held captive in his home. Afraid of going to prison, he leaves the woman there and makes a call to the police, who find nothing when they investigate. Now, the valet must endure the wrath of the kidnapper who seeks revenge on him, all while desperately trying to find and rescue the captive woman he left behind.
Rated R for violence, adult language throughout, some drug use and brief nudity
– This is a film vehicle designed specifically to show off Tennant’s unshakeable talents. I say that because he was the most glaring positive that I took away from this movie. As the antagonist for the film, Tennant offers another rare glimpse of his growing personality that this time depicts a meticulous killer whose cunning intellect and shark-style eyes are his greatest strengths. He’s menacing when confronted by an enemy, and calculated in calm when confronted by authorities, crafting the kind of killer that drives audiences crazy because of how put together he is.
– Devlin brings the style. If you take away nothing else from the same man who brought us last year’s ‘Geostorm’, understand that he can grant a very serene kind of design to his thrillers. ‘Bad Samaritan’ often feels like it is in a nightmare dreamscape, capped off with glamorous lighting and sturdy camera work to give us a film that is enticing to look at.
– While I have problems overall with the narration for the movie, I will say that the mental fortitude test being played between the two male leads was something that constantly raised the stakes to the ever-changing scenery of the game, and truly evolved this into a serial thriller from a
– I loved the decision to cast a majority of this film in the Oregon countryside. Considering this takes place during the winter time, a frost-biting chill takes over the auditorium, and the forest’s infinite trees tell a story that a lot of the times the film can’t even fully grasp.
– There are no shortage of plot contrivances here. It would be easy to use the excuse of turning my brain off, but when I know how certain investigations stem, as well as how truly stupid these duo of thieves truly are, I’d have to be braindead to ignore the never-ending list of implausibility that plagues the believability.
– Brash editing that is never consistently paced with the progression of the film. It constantly feels like multiple people are editing this film together, and that’s a problem for pacing of particular scenes that deserve more exposition time, and some scenes that overstay their welcome whole.
– This feels every bit of the 105 minute runtime that is left at our feet. A major reason for this is that the film goes almost an entire hour between thrills to lose itself in an investigation that is only there to answer the questions that writer Brandon Boyce can’t creatively work into the one-on-one cat-and-mouse game being played between Tennant and Sheehan.
– There’s this awkward backstory that opens the film and occasionally peeks into focus during sporadic scenes throughout, and I felt overall that the juice just didn’t warrant the squeeze with this one. There’s no surprising reveal or elemental twist that ups the ante, and these few out of context moments felt like they were paying tribute to something harshly disjointed like last year’s ‘The Snowman’, although nowhere near as faulty.
– I have great difficulty feeling for characters who enjoy robbing people just because they’re rich snobs, and my overall feeling of rooting for Tennant’s serial killer never changed throughout. ‘Don’t Breathe’ was excellent with something like this, evolving the trio of thieves with a backstory that articulated their urgency to get out of town. For ‘Bad Samaritan’, that empathetic approach never materializes, and because of such we’re left with a game of bad versus worse that doesn’t remotely consider the judges at bay; the audience.
– Awful A.D.R effects that have me scratching my head. This is an R-rated movie with several scenes of adult language dialogue being exerted, so why the few instances of audible narration that override the lips of an actor mouthing a specific vulgarity for cover-up? If the effect itself isn’t a glaring problem, the volume of the inserted audio most certainly is, alienating itself from the consistency of a conversation between two characters that sounds like one is occasionally having their testicles ripped apart.