A woman struggling with insecurity wakes from a fall believing she is the most beautiful and capable woman on the planet. Her new confidence empowers her to live fearlessly, but what happens when she realizes her appearance never changed?
"Bad Samaritan" (R, 1:51) is a thriller directed by actor-turned-producer Dean Devlin ("Geostorm"), written by Brandon Boyce ("Wicker Park") and starring television actor (and erstwhile Dr. Who) David Tennant. There's a bit of horror in here too, but this film is primarily an intricately plotted thrill ride.
The title character is named Sean Falco (Irish actor Robert Sheehan), a young man whose step-father brought him and his mother to the U.S. because of a job opportunity (for which Sean resents him). Sean is an aspiring photographer with a beautiful and intelligent college girlfriend named Riley (Jacqueline Byers) who knows nothing of Sean's real passion - stealing. Sean and his best friend, Derek (Carlito Olivero) work as valets at an expensive Italian restaurant... which is where they choose their marks. As one of them mans the valet stand, the other uses the vehicles, GPS devices and garage door openers of their unsuspecting customers to rob the patrons' homes, while they're just trying to have a nice meal.
One not-so-fine evening, after Derek has to abort his attempt to rob the home of one family enjoying a night out at the restaurant, it's Sean's turn. For his next victim, Sean chooses Cale Erendreich (Tennant), a man who seems very rich... and very mean. As Sean is searching Cale's home, he comes across a door with an unusually strong lock. He figures that a door secured that well, must have something especially valuable behind it. He uses Cale's keys to gain entry and finds Cale's computer - and a young woman (Kerry Condon), who is gagged, bound with straps and chains and sitting in a chair bolted to the floor.
Sean spends the rest of the movie trying to do right by Cale's captive. Sean tries his best to free her, but Derek tells him via cell phone that Cale has come outside to get his car. Conflicted but panicked, Sean promises the girl that he'll come back... and races back to the restaurant. This guy tries calling the police, breaking back into the house and any number of other things to save Cale's victim, but it's no small task going up against the highly intelligent Cale with his extraordinary attention to detail. This guy knows how to cover his tracks and seems to enjoy messing with the lives of anyone trying to stop his evil plans.
"Bad Samaritan" is an unexpectedly good thriller. Tennant and Sheehan are terrific in the lead roles. The rest of the actors are pretty good, but the overall quality of the movie may have been improved with a more talented cast. Regardless, this film's strength lies in its writing and directing. The plot has very few holes and plenty of twists and turns. The story is very well constructed and well executed, making the viewer sharply attentive, suitably tense and well rewarded with an entertaining cinematic experience. This film may fly under the radar of many Movie Fans, but it's well worth the effort to seek it out. "A-"
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