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No good deed based on a short story by Dashiell Hammett is kind of
movies that have many elements and themes of a classic film no-ire but
it is not exactly one of them. The themes include a robbery plan that
goes awry though here it is more of a con rather than robbery and it is
executed without resorting to violence. Second theme is domed love
which in this movie is rather short, more of this later. The elements include mastermind and ruthless gangster, a femme fatal , and rude maniac hit-man. And add to these people a
couple that had a dream of living happily ever after. The strength of the movie is in building up of its characters. They all do what they are expected to do whether they act strongly or
weakly. Their strength and weakness comes from their personalities and not from the requirement of the plot. Erin character is the main difference of this movie from classic femme fatal. As a kept girl with ten percent rebate on pedicure expense, though she is cunning in some scenes , but she is also deadly frightened. Her motives are dark at worst and suspicious at best, but in her main thrust of manipulations (getting rid of Tyrone) she deserves our sympathy. Other characters do not show something unexpected ,but the story has enough power and twist that make the movie worthwhile and interesting. Movie scenes are limited, and most of it is in closed places which intensifies a sense of claustrophobia. This kind of story which has little physical action and is mainly based on suspenses needs good acting, that fortunately this movie does not lack it. This movie shows that good noir still can be made and their time has not passed yet
The deal with action/crime movies it's quite complex, more when the
objective is to put some drama on it. It's about finding a balance that
doesn't include too much violence without taking it all out. It's about
creating a story that makes sense and deals with human emotions, so we
can care about characters. It's a very challenging goal, difficult t
achieve. There must be, anyway, one movie that represents that perfect
balance. I've heard "Goodfellas" is the perfect example (or haven't
I'll talk about that movie soon. The thing is, that while "No good
deed" contains some of the elements required to become a good movie, it
has another ones that make it stay behind.
The film tries to hard with the plot twists and it's just a way to waste the time recycling until they can finally get to the ending. There's too much violence and with no credible purposes to help the plot. The movie involves some of the typical things as the intelligent guy and brain, and another stupid man who depends on the brain, because if not he can't do things right. And let's not forget about the spicy ingredient that can't be absent and always works: the girl. What doesn't work is the sexual tension between the girl and (I forgot to mention it) the main guy; a cop, trying to make room for a love story, relating them both as the most important characters.
Bob Rafelson manages to keep us interested with his quick movements in a slow paced film. Writer Christopher Canaan manages to create situations that are motivating enough for the viewer, coming up with very original ideas and attractive supporting characters. Some obvious revelations that are not even revelations are samples of the weakness the film has (you know what the password is when they're trying to figure it out); that together with the lame edition bring this movie down.
This time they chose a very attractive young woman for the part of the girl. This was Milla Jovovich; very attractive and with the acting skills required for this specific job. She had no big problems to play Erin, always seemed comfortable and it looked like the role suited her. Stellan Skarsgard is at his best in Tyrone's skin. Relaxed and natural, he created a memorable character you won't feel bad hating; and that's possibly the best compliment for a villain. In the list of the stereotyped characters, the stupid guy Hoop is played coldly by Doug Hutchison; that guy who I didn't even like in "The Green Mile" and seems to be related to Kevin Spacey because of the way he looks. In a hero character away from clichés, Sam Jackson's Jack Friar brings the actor in top action form since his days in "The long kiss goodnight", "One eight seven" and most recently, "Shaft". A pleasure for me was to see the man in his groove again. Two lovable Grace Zabriskie (Mrs. Quarre) and Joss Ackland (Mr. Quarre), and an underused Jonathan Higgins (David) complete the supporting cast.
The movie succeeds, however, in the aspects we expect the least. It succeeds in character development; making its characters understandable in the situations they're involved and in the way they make their decisions. It explores personality aspects not many other films of this type explore, like the intense peace the main characters find in music; forgetting about everything else When the movie begins, Jack is playing the cello; and we comprehend that's the only thing that eases him down
While a cop(Jackson in good form, and yes, he does get to do one cool speech in this) is out searching for a teenager that will never be anything other than a MacGuffin, he stumbles upon a band of quirky criminals looking to steal money from a bank. The femme fatale Erin(a *stunning* Jovovich), Tyrone, the brains of the operation(Skarsgård, threatening without even needing to be armed), Hoop, the slow-witted thief, and the Quarre's, a racist WW2 veteran pilot and his home-maker wife. $10 million is what they expect to get out of it... and that kind of dough can lead to backstabbing. Add to that that Murphy's Law is in effect when they go for the score. This is modern film noir, and it's fairly solid. The characters are all "grey", no black and white, not necessarily likable(not that any of them are annoying), well-cast, credible and well-written. Yes, they have some fun with how odd they are, but not excessively so. This isn't "funny" as such; at most it has sardonic moments and the occasional joke. It isn't about action, either. There's tension and suspense, and the plot is kept moving nicely by many twists and turns. Not everything is followed up on, and the ending doesn't really pack much of a punch... in fact, on the whole, this is a bit of a slow-burner. There is a bit of disturbing content, a little violence and nudity/sexuality. I recommend this for at least a rental for those into crime-dramas. 6/10
The film talks how a detective(Samuel L. Jackson) is assigned by his
neighbor to find her disappeared daughter . The tracks lead a house
where he's abducted by a group of delinquents(Stellan Skarsgard, Milla
Jovovich, Doug Hutchinson).
The picture is developed on its first part in the hall-room , for that reason is a little tiring ; a bit later on , there starts the action and when the movie is amusing and entertaining . In the intervening period to forward is nice and there are thriller , taut , intrigue and suspense leading to finish at a frenetic action and tension . The final confrontation between the starring and the nasty enemies is breathtaking and in complete emotion . Samuel L. Jackson and Milla Jovovich interpretation is top-notch , both of them make the typical couple from noir cinema . He is impetuous and tough , she's liar , impulsive and beautiful . The supporting actors are magnificent (Skarsgard, Hutchinson and the veterans : Joss Ackland and Grace Zabriskie) . The cinematography by Spanish photographer Juan Ruiz Anchia is good and Jeff Beal's musical score is atmospheric . The picture is a little bit violent but happens cruel murders . The motion picture attained limited success , besides it made a few box office because of lack luster and budget . The yarn will appeal to action cinema enthusiasts and Samuel L. Jackson fans . Rating : Acceptable and passable.
Having watched this film, I became bored after about 30 minutes and as
it was only just over 90 minutes long I persevered in the hope it would
improve!! No chance!!!
The Gang of Six were the WORST band of thieves ever put together in the history of Film Thieves!! Santa Claus, Granny, Psycho, a Member of the Adams family and 9 Toes! All in sync with the dodgy bloke in the bank, who made it so obvious what was going on, he'd have been sussed in an instance!!!
A slow, boring plot....a slow, boring cast....totally lacked invention and motivation.....PLUS, whatever happened to the missing girl???? If her mother was that bothered, why did she never get suspicious when Jack Friar (S L J) never returned???
Dire, Drab and waste of time...If anyone else gets the chance to watch this....DON'T!
As Roger Ebert said in his review, brilliant, literate film noir with excellent performances...particularly Milla Jovovitch as the femme fatale. A steamy seductress tried to seduce a cop with her beauty and stunning abilities as a pianist. Samuel Jacksin is the cello play cop who wanders into a nest of thieves...some brutal the other weirdly comical. Dashiell Hammett to the core. Well worth your seeing.
"No good Deed", as the DVD is entitled, tells of an off duty cop who stumbles on a house full of bad guys while looking for a lost girl and becomes their prisoner while the messy plot unfolds. Jackson plays a diabetic cop and the cello while Jovovich plays a femme fatale and the piano and their tenuous relationship becomes the only worthy thing developed by the film. Skarsgård (probably the most talented of the cast) and the rest of the core cast play silly caricatures not unlike those found in supermarket paperback novels. This poor attempt at film noir which is adrift between black comedy and shoddy drama is a heavy handed mess lacking finesse, fraught with gaping plot holes, and generally full of filler which contributes nothing to the meager story. Save this turkey (aka: The House on Turk Street) for broadcast when the surfin' is slim. (C+)
The plot: A cop doing a favor for a friend ends up unwillingly getting
involved in a heist.
No Good Deed is an interesting neo-noir/heist movie. Sam Jackson, a lonely and frustrated cop, starts off investigating a runaway daughter for his neighbor, only to stumble into a heist that is already underway. Taken hostage, he anxiously awaits his fate while trying to get some kind of angle on his captors.
The captors include a femme fatale, a violent thug, a cultured and domineering mastermind, and a racist elderly couple. They've also got an inside man that they're conning. This quirky group provides some black humor and tension. We're introduced to each character early, and the development is done rather well. The characters play off of each other in interesting ways, though I suppose it's pretty obvious that Jackson is the match to this powder keg. Still, it's fun to watch the requisite backstabbing, double-crosses, and con games as they play out.
If you're looking for a slick, fast-paced thriller, you might end up being a bit bored or disappointed. The biggest problem is that the whole thing is a bit predictable, though you'll probably forgive that if you're a fan of the actors or neo-noir. It seems worth a 6 or 7, rather than the somewhat mediocre score that it has now.
The first thing to say is that a movie has to draw you in to the story
within the first few minutes. This one failed to do that. But that's
really only the first of many problems. I'm going to highlight just a
couple of them - one was, to me, a huge problem with the story; the
second was just something that bugged me personally because it was just
so absolutely stupid on the part of whoever came up with it.
The major issue for me was that this particular gang of thieves didn't strike me as having the intellectual wattage to successfully steal $100 from a convenience store; never mind $10 million from a major bank. There's the old couple (Joss Ackland and Grace Zabriskie) whose relationship with the leader of the group is never really explained, except that he flew some combat in Vietnam and can therefore fly the getaway plane. We also discover that they're horny enough to get it on in the airplane while they're waiting for everybody to show up to make their escape. There's the apparently brainless Hoop (Doug Hutchison) - who's so out of control that he can't possibly be of much use to the group. Then there's the leader himself, Tyrone (Stellan Skarsgaard) who's the bright light of the group I guess but who still is quite willing to leave his lady friend Erin (Milla Jovovich) (whom he met when she was an aspiring musician in Russia) alone with Jack the cop (Samuel L. Jackson) so that he can teach her how to play the cello while she's holding him hostage. This is just plain dumb, which made it completely unbelievable that the gang could get as far as they did. That's the major complaint about the story. Now for the personal irritant.
As the movie comes to an end, Tyrone, Erin and Jack approach the Canadian border. The scenes at the border are absolutely ludicrous and show how little homework was done by those who made the movie. First, the border crossing was identified as Sudbury. Sudbury? Did anybody bother looking at a list of border crossings, or, better yet, a map? Sudbury is in northern Ontario. The nearest border crossing would be more than 4 hours away! Did anybody bother doing just a little bit of research about Canada Border Services? CBS agents wear dark blue uniforms, not the grey uniforms used here, which makes them look a bit like sheriff's deputies in the southern US. The shootout at the end is also highly unlikely, given that in 2002 CBS agents didn't carry guns! Maybe somebody should have checked into these things?
This is a terrible crime drama. It might have worked as a sort of whimsical heist movie, but that wasn't the intent. It was a crime drama - and a sad one! (2/10)
Samuel Jackson and Milla Jovovich were superb. However, the story
barely uses much of Jackson's talent. The other actors are good to
okay. Stellan Skarsgård was terrible. He reads his lines like a high
school student. The story was slow to get started and was quite
predictable. The movie picks up as it goes along.
Milla Jovovich is beautiful and has never looked as good. She is absolutely mesmerizing to look at in this role.
On a late Saturday night when you are tired, in the mood for a movie, and just don't care what film you see it will do the trick.
Doug Hutchinson is a great Hoop! He was very convining.
Out of 10 stars (where 10 is the highest) I would give it a 5. I must say though Jovovich and Jackson were worth" the price of admission." To bad Hollywood is not ready for a love scene between the two. That would have made this an exceptional cinematic event.
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