Friday 30 July 2021

Rob's Movie Night Roundup - N (No Good Deed)

At the beginning of the year, my wife and I decided that we'd like to watch more movies. There are 52 weeks in a year, 2 of us, and 26 letters in the alphabet. What better way to choose some movies than to go alphabetically? The only rule: Where possible, it should be a movie that one or more of us had never seen before. Oh, and ideally it should be part of one of the copious online streaming services we're already subscribed to, because why bother paying for a rental when we're not short of options?

Incidentally, if anyone from the big online streaming service providers is reading this (your Notfluxes or your Prims, for example), please make it easier to search for/sort movies alphabetically. Thanks.

Also, fair warning: There may well be movies that appear on this list that you'll find hard to believe I haven't seen before. It happens.

Previous letters are here: A B C D E F G H I J K L M


Director: Sam Miller
Stars: Taraji P. Henson, Idris Elba, Leslie Bibb

Synopsis via IMDB: An unstable escaped convict terrorizes a woman who is alone with her two children.

I like Idris Elba. I think he's brilliant. It's not often, though, that I get to see him stretch his villain legs. Granted, recently a lot of the films I've seen him in (The Dark Tower, Molly's Game and the MCU movies where he plays Heimdall) have not left much room for dastardly performances; it wouldn't really do for Roland to perform a heel turn in The Dark Tower, and Thanos is arguably more qualified as a big bad than Heimdall.

I've got to say that he's not bad in a villain role. He can play a right convincing bastard. A cursory IMDB search also informs me that I've forgotten his performance as Shere Khan in The Jungle Book. He's cracking in that as a villain, although it's just his voice on display in the final film (he strikes me as someone who'd get right into the motion capture given the chance, though).

I'm less familiar with the work of Taraji P. Henson, but from this film she seems great! She plays her part really well.

Anyway, No Good Deed sees Elba take the role of the unstable escaped convict and perform a series of heinous acts as such people might be inclined to do. Henson takes the role of the terrified mother of two. In general, there's nothing about this movie that's exceptionally poor or badly done. It's short, but sweet. At one point I wondered aloud to my wife whether they had enough time to actually execute the plot given how much time had been spent on buildup, but actually the pacing was done in such a way that things began to ramp at what felt like a good rate.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the movie was seven years old, as it looked really nice for a movie that had been out a few years. I suppose, in hindsight, I should've known it wasn't a recent Netflix entry as a lot of those movies lately seem to have a very distinctive visual style. I can't really precise it, but you'd know it if you saw it. I'd also say that whoever was in charge of sound editing for this one did a bang-up job, putting in some really nice touches to demonstrate the villain's instability.

The story is somewhat by the numbers, but does a decent job of running you through the narrative in a way that feels fresh enough to hold your interest. In this respect it's nothing incredibly ground-breaking, but then generally speaking the movie isn't. What it does, it does well, but it's not reinventing the genre or anything. Still, not every movie can or indeed has to.

All in all, a solid movie, and well worth the 80 or so minutes runtime if you're at a loose end.

While I did theorise that the opening up of the world post-Covid would result in less time for movie-watching, I honestly thought it would be somewhere like P or Q that the effects might be more pronounced. Such is life, and my goal is still to watch at least one from each letter. It's unlikely that at the end of the year, this film will make it into the very bottom tiers of any "best movie" list, but it's unlikely that No Good Deed will light your world on fire.

Did you enjoy the roundup? Let me know! If you have thoughts on the movies chosen and their respective writeups above, you know where to find me. Maybe you don't, but there are buttons everywhere to make that happen. Comments, Twitter, you name it. Moreover, if you want to make use of this movie night format, bearing in mind you're a few weeks in and might have to double up to get up to speed, feel free to do the same - I'd love to know what you chose too!

Rob Wade

Rob Wade blogs about stuff he likes. Whether it's video games or geek media for Emotionally14 or writing about speculative theories for future films on Talk Star Wars, the focus has always been on the stuff that brings the most pleasure to his life within media.

Rob is the editor of Emotionally14, and showrunner of the E14 podcasts "The Crazy Train", "The E14 Gamecast" and "Talk Star Wars", as well as the host and guest of a number of pieces on E14's Youtube channel over the years.

No comments:

Post a Comment