The cop who pulls them over is white and green — he looks 22 years old, a shaky rookie who might panic and shoot wildly into the car where a killer is hiding behind Terri’s two babies.Suddenly Terri wants nothing more in the world than for the cop to go away and leave her to fend for herself with the murderer.He listens attentively as you share a bottle of red wine, lamenting that your husband (handsome, successful) bought when he used to see you as more independent, back before the kids. Elba is credited as an executive producer, as is Taraji P.
His rain-soaked clothes cling to his athletic frame as he apologizes for interrupting your evening, looking sexily embarrassed as he confesses he’s just totaled his car on the winding, leafy road that passes the large, semi-secluded, well-landscaped lot that affords you a measure of privacy.
He wouldn’t dream of intruding while you’re feeding your adorable kids; he only wants to use your phone and then wait out in the monsoon for the tow truck.
Even beyond Aimee Lagos’s lazy script, the casting (Terri’s sports bra–wearing friend, who assures her she still looks great, weighs maybe 95 pounds) and set decorating (which gives Terri a medicine cabinet full of weight-loss pills) suggest a cynical attempt to customize a movie for Black Women Who Are Afraid Their Husbands Might Have a Fling With a Skinny, Younger White Lady.
Screen Gems, the studio that previously pushed back No Good Deed’s release on three separate occasions, canceled all press screenings for critics on the grounds of protecting its diabolically cunning plot twist.
Nowhere else does director Sam Miller achieve anything like this fine hum of suspense.
That’s because suspense takes time and patience, and this is the kind of movie that includes flashbacks to events that happened 10 minutes ago. “I’ll bet you were a force to be reckoned with,” Colin tells Terri upon learning of her law-enforcement background.
Once you were a tough prosecutor who — as you will shortly explain to sexy, wet Idris Elba (Luther, Prometheus) — specialized in violence-against-women cases, before you gave it up to raise your handsome-and-successful-but-distracted husband’s children. But Idris has a sexy cut on his forehead that clearly requires your tender ministrations, and it’s so wet outside. Now: What if we make Idris Elba (Thor, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance) an escaped serial killer in this scenario? Scott Fitzgerald, the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to ogle Idris Elba (Thor: The Dark World, 28 Weeks Later) when he takes his shirt off but also to cheer when a stay-at-home mom brains him with a fire extinguisher and stabs him with her keys.
You beat back the big-city survival instincts you developed while in law school and invite him in. Not a suspected serial killer or something hot like that, but a guy we have actually seen strangle a woman and then bludgeon her with a telephone that rings upon impact with her skull, a few minutes before he crashes his car in front of your house. At least, that seems to be the marketing psychology behind No Good Deed, a deeply stupid thriller that features the ladykiller as, well, a murderer of women, albeit one prepared to diversify into killing men when necessary.
Unusually friendly to latecomers, No Good Deed actually gets going a couple of scenes later when Colin, having been denied parole, busts out of custody with less difficulty than most of us have getting through the self-checkout line.