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In Portland, the amateurish photographer Sean Falco works with his best friend Derek Sandoval as valet at a fancy restaurant. His girlfriend Riley Seabrook studies in a university and he is estranged of his stepfather. Sean and Derek are also smalltime burglars, stealing the houses of the costumers while they are eating in the restaurant. One day, the obnoxious client Cale Erendreich arrives at the restaurant driving a Maserati and Sean drives his car back to his house using the computer and Derek watches Cale in the restaurant. While snooping around the house, Sean finds a locked room and when he opens the door, he stumbles upon a woman tied to a chair with chains and gagged. He unsuccessfully tries to release her but he is forced to return to the restaurant with the Maserati. Sean decides to call the police, but Cale lures the police officers and turns Sean's life upside-down.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The three main characters all hail from the British Isles. Kerry Condon and Robert Sheehan are Irish while David Tennant is Scottish. Kerry Condon and David Tennant have an American accent for the film. See more »
With the success of the Avengers last weekend, it is hard for other movies to try and take follow such an impressive record. Still, another week comes with movies that are going to try and fight for their place in the silver screen. My first movie of the week is the latest Horror/Thriller to try and keep you on edge. Robbie K here with another round of writing to help you guys with your movie choices. Sit back and read on as I review:
Movie: Bad Samaritan
Brandon Boyce (screenplay)
Kerry Condon, David Tennant, Robert Sheehan
Decent Pacing: If you've read my work, you know I like movies that movie, which Bad Samaritan does. I'll admit it takes a while to lift off in an attempt to set the stage, but as the robbery goes bad and the thrills start, things start to pick up. From then on, it seems to move, only hitting rough patches of diverging slowness for small amounts before looping back to the story.
Acting: Another plus here, the cast has quite an art to helping keeps the audience invested in the story with performances that are quite believable and well developed. The secondary characters are fine for their limited appearances, but the two leads are by far the pillars of strength keeping this movie up. Sheehan as the protagonist plays the man at wits end quite well, a nice force of morale integrity with a drive to make changes his world needs. It's a nice puzzle of emotion and he was able to bring all the pieces together to make a protagonist you want to get behind. Yet it's David Tennant who will most likely grab your attention. The former Barty Crouch Junior has taken his insanity up a level, still having that strategic genius of a serial killer, but this time being much louder and less subtle. Seeing how deep his madness goes is probably the only mystery at hand, as one tries to figure out what caused such devoted madness. The rivalry between these two is the relationship that drives the whole film, and certainly the thrilling component of the movie.
Thrilling at Times: The movie has a dark edge to it, and dark often brings thrills and suspense to the screen. Bad Samaritan has those moments that are real on the seat sequences that you crime show lovers enjoy. All of them attempt to make you jump and potentially look suspiciously over at your fellow audience member, but most of these moments are short lived. What does bring suspense though, is that feeling of unknown as to what Tennant's character will do next. That uneasiness is truly the source of the thrills in the movie and perhaps one of the more realistic scares of the year in movies.
Predictable: What drowns the movie's suspense is how linear and predictable this film is. Bad Samaritan holds few surprises in this regard, much of the plot can be seen from a mile away and seldom surprising me outside of how short some of the suspense moments are. It's much of the same story that crime shows love to take full advantage of in their relentless need for repeats.
Lacking Villain Development: The extent of his madness is visible in this film, his back story, not so much. Bad Samaritan's villain is just shown as crazy, with only fleeting memories of animal torture (another thing I hate) to give you any sort of understanding. Eventually, the bomb is dropped into the incident that developed his psychopathic tendencies arose, but it's only in the form of a three-sentence part to wrap it all up. This lack of details and impasses to uncover his history means one thing... boring. Part of the fun of a thriller is getting more insight to the monster at hand and it just didn't deliver in this movie.
Underutilization of secondary characters: Sigh, the protagonist had so many connections set up at the beginning, each an important cog to Sheehan's character's life, but also a valuable pawn in the killer's game of chess. Unfortunately, these pieces are super underdeveloped, dropped in for only small time talk before quickly being used for more life altering madness. Most of these stints are just flown over, but a couple do try to bring that nasty bite to get you feeling the pain they want you to. Had more of these guys been brought into the game, Bad Samaritan may have again developed the edge it needed.
The Stupidity/Mistakes: Bad Samaritan falls into the usual trepidations of characters making stupid decisions and paying heavily for it. These bad decisions are essentially the core of the movie, and while a few could be appreciated, some of these moments were sheer displays of how dumb the writing was at times. How did this master of seduction/schmoozing screw up so much for this kid to best him? Why would they be so stupid to leave obvious clues? Why were the cops so ruthlessly dumb/ignorant? It's just those background noises they want you to annoy, but in this movie that is hard to do given the set up they make. The inconsistencies are a tad annoying to me at times.
The Ending: Sigh, another movie that is left to tease and feel unfinished. Bad Samaritan's final moments are rushed display of mistakes, coincidental serendipity, and a sudden cut to black worthy of the Sopranos. It opens the possibilities for another installment yet could provide lackluster closure to those who want it. Nevertheless, this film didn't quite end as strongly as one would hope, leaving many questions unanswered, and many ties still unknotted.
Bad Samaritan is an okay movie, capable of finding ways to make you jump and trying to keep you engaged in this manhunt. With good acting and a good pace, the movie certainly feels like a crime show that has a film worthy budget. Yet, the movie still holds some rather big deficits that rob it of the thriller aspect it wanted to bring. More character development and suspense are going to be needed for further installments, but it at least sets the stage. Worth a trip to the movies? Can't say it is for me but give it a shot at home to not worry about being robbed of your money for an anticlimactic ending.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 6.5
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