No Good Deed: A good movie or a great flick? You decide!

So I have a file folder full of links called Tuesday. Its for stuff I find after I put my piece up on Mondays that I might want to talk about. I was going through my Tuesday file looking for something I might want to talk about when I realized I hadn’t talked about the larger cultural point of No Good Deed. So since with the upcoming changes and folks breaks/vacations going on I have space, I’ll do it now.

The background

I didn’t want to see this movie. Now you are probably thinking ill of me already depending on your background, but I didn’t want to go see this. I was looking at the trailers, and thinking this was just another home invasion woman home alone film. I went and looked at Jeremy Jahns review and thought the same thing. But my Mother(Who is clearly the awesomest Mom ever) wanted to see it before I went on my cruise(which is why I haven’t posted) so we made a day of it and went to check it out.

I had a comfortable seat, plenty of snacks, and we saw trailers for: A JLo pic about a teen obssessed with his teacher(Cause it has been 6 years and we are now required to have another one), a crappy movie by someone I refuse to support by mentioning, All is by my side(The Jimi Hendrix biopic) and Gone Girl(Which I am all in for seeing). Then the credits to start the flick role and I openly wonder if the movie director is the same one from Luther(He is) and we get the pic.

The film

I was ready to hate it, but I ended up liking it. Henson and Elba are legitimate actors plying their craft so I wasn’t worried about their emotional and non verbal work. I was worried about 1 thing. The writing. Throughout the film there were things done classically in a bad way I thought, that made plot holes. BUT over and over again their was logic used based on things we’d seen since the very beginning throughout the universe the film occupies that made all this work. I’m hyper critical of shit writing. But here other than 1 single thing I found no issues. That 1 thing? She shouldn’t have had the job she had. So as not to spoil I’ll just say it fits in too perfectly to the situation at hand.

But from meeting “Colin” until the end credits, I dug the flick. Not really a film to put on the list to watch with a date, but one to enjoy a couple times or while its on tv down the line. Sam Miller knows how to direct Idris Elba from doing Luther with him, and this is no exception. Good flick.

The Larger cultural point

Some have said this proves that black stars can make money and lead films in the modern age. And while yes I agree, that isn’t the end of the point. According to a bit of research Aimee Lagos was working on this script before Elba and Henson were attached. And looking at the film there aren’t really any signature racial elements to the film…well let me back up a bit. We do know that “Colin” was dating a non black woman before he went to jail, but that he is okay with interracial dating didn’t seem to be the point of meeting his ex.

Anyway, most of what we have happen in the film is not “The cinematic black experience” or “making a cultural point.” The film isn’t even whatever people are calling “a cultural touchstone” these days. And that is a far bigger thing than the box office numbers. It doesn’t just prove a modest budget suspense film can make money in 2014. It doesn’t just prove you can do a modern suspense thriller with black actors and make money. It doesn’t just prove you can black leads can make money with not just black audiences(Cause thank GOD someone is breaking up Tyler Perry’s monopoly with that). It proves you don’t have to cast based on the ethnicity of the production crew. A white writer and director wrote a great film cast 2 black people and it will make a lot of money. We already knew the reverse can happen, now there is legitimate proof that outside action it can happen as well.

The final thought

I’m not going to tell you go see this movie. If suspense isn’t your thing, then you won’t enjoy the slow burn pressure cooker nature of it. But for the film folks who like them like I like them go watch and see if you don’t get a feeling of Brick, or The Postman Always Rings Twice, or any of the many films we all love with a slow build, a non-convoluted resolution of plot points, and some legitimately good acting by all the leads. You’ll thank me later. Now I might say more things this week. But I’ll cut this off here because WORDS DON’T DO IT JUSTICE!


– THE Ruthless Wonder

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