No Good Deed review: home invasion and a serial killer - but it’s all in good fun

Film Title: No Good Deed

Director: Sam Miller

Starring: Idris Elba, Taraji P. Henson, Leslie Bibb

Genre: Crime

Running Time: 83 min

Fri, Nov 21, 2014, 07:00

   

It’s not that former DA Terri (Taraji P. Henson, always a pleasure) is unhappy being a stay-at-home mum to her young daughter and infant son; it’s just that she feels like she’s lost her spark. When her not entirely likeable husband (Agents of Shield’s Simmons) heads off on a golf weekend, Terri’s best friend Meg (Bibb) makes plans for a girls’ night in. Little do they know that dangerous escaped criminal Colin (Elba) will be helping them polish off their wine. It seems like Terri will need to find that spark if she’s going to survive the evening.

In days of yore, hardcore criminality could only be found at the multiplex with a hefty certificate attached. One major cultural switcheroo later and every cop-and-robber show on TV belongs to the genre that South Park has lampooned as “informative murder porn”.

If the availability of actual porn has killed off sheet-grasping sex scenes in the picture-house, the availability of informative murder porn means that nobody wants to pay good money to linger over the rotting, beheaded corpses of various female rape victims. Viewers can get that at home for free. On every channel.

Nowadays, if you want an old-fashioned potboiler that keeps its killing quick, clean and obscured by fast cuts, then cinema is the place to be. In this spirit, No Good Deed features a home invasion and a serial killer. But it’s all in good fun. Comparatively speaking.

No one could describe No Good Deed as original. But the film’s look-out-behind-you antics – not to mention daft plot twist and cheesy toppings – stay classy(ish) thanks to its posse of reliable thesps and the anti-casting of Idris Elba as a proper villain. A proper villain named Colin. Confusingly, Elba last appeared on movie screens as Nelson Mandela. Goodbye Bafana, indeed.

And yes. That is former ITV Gladiator Rhino. So much nicer than a beheaded corpse.