Convicted murderer and woman basher Colin (Idris Elba) escapes from jail and makes a bee-line for his former fiancée. When he crashes his car and is in need of help, he finds Terry (Taraji P. Henson) home alone with her children, and decides to toy with her.
Idirs Elba, who has made great choices in terms of his small screen roles, re-teams with sometime Luther director Sam Miller for a home invasion movie with a twist. The trouble is that the twist, such as is it, is the least surprising aspect of No Good Deed.
Thank god for Idris Elba and his performance as Colin, because otherwise there would be absolutely nothing to commend No Good Deed. Elba plays Colin as a panther; a man who stalks a woman throughout her home. Elba moves like a caged animal and, although many of his actions do not make sense, at least he is convincing in the role. Taraji P. Henson, as Terry, is perhaps one of the most annoying female characters seen in screen this year; although she constantly stresses how strong she is and how much she loves her husband, it does not take long for her to flirt with the newcomer in her home, and even less time for her to make all the rookie horror movie mistakes, such as running upstairs and not taking her heels off. Sigh. Leslie Bibb turns up in a tiny role as Terry’s friend Meg, but is quickly removed from proceedings, and Henry Simmons plays Terry’s husband Jeffrey.
Screenwriter Aimee Lagos has churned out some of the most stereotypical characters, and clunky dialogue seen on screen in a long time; women invite strangers into their homes, giggle and flirt and while men prey on them. Dialogue is filled with exposition, and incredibly awkward moments – such as Elba telling Henson ‘Don’t flatter yourself’ after she begs him not to rape her – but motivation is never truly given for the characters in the film.
Director Sam Miller tried and failed to make No Good Deed anything other than an unholy mess, focusing all of his attention on Elba’s performance, while allowing Henson and Bibb to shriek and run around in the background.
No Good Deed is a hot mess of a film, where characters make stupid decisions for no reson whatever, Idris Elba takes a huge amount of blows to the head and stays standing, and the dialogue is often painful and cringe inducing. If it’s Elba you want, perhaps watch his Sky TV ads over again, they contain a much stronger performance than anything that surfaces in No Good Deed.