Capsule Review: Bad Samaritan
Dean Devlin, the producer behind Independence Day, steals a page from the indie playbook with a hackneyed story about a young photographer who accidentally captures a sex crime through his lens in this baby Blow Up.
Starring: Robert Sheehan, Kerry Condon, David Tennant, Jacqueline Byers
Directed by: Dean Devlin
Running time: 1 hr 50 mins
By Katherine Monk
“Someday I’d like to direct” is a sentence uttered so frequently in Hollywood, it’s become a comic cliche. Yet, thanks to Dean Devlin’s on-screen attempts to turn his years of producing into a new career in the director’s chair, the cliche finds a fresh victim.
As the producer behind behemoth blockbusters such as Independence Day and Godzilla, the very idea of Devlin taking on a teeny picture like Bad Samaritan is the biggest surprise this thriller has to offer — even when you take into account it’s got a comic book cousin.
Set in dark and stormy Portland, we meet handsome young aspiring photographer (because that’s what handsome outsiders tend to be since Antonioni’s Blowup) Sean Falco (Robert Sheehan).
As the producer behind behemoth blockbusters such as Independence Day and Godzilla, the very idea of Devlin taking on a teeny picture like Bad Samaritan is the biggest surprise this thriller has to offer.
Falco is an Irish kid who loves Riley (Jacqueline Byers), but he’s also a bit of a scammer. He and his buddy work as valets at the local Italian joint downtown, but while the diners are slopping up scaloppini, the boys are looking at the registration, driving to people’s homes, and walking inside with the house key. They steal things that won’t be “missed” such as stored jewelry, and maybe the brand new credit card from the mailbox.
They’re small time. Yet, when Sean stumbles into what appears to be a sex slave at the house of a local Maserati driver, he’s forced to choose between calling 911 while he’s committing a crime — or to simply leave the woman chained up in the house of a serial murderer.
Devlin trots out every device since Silence of the Lambs in an attempt to turn this moronic plot into something watchable, but the spirit of the film feels in the wrong place. We never buy into Sean’s lilting Irish charms, nor his flimsy excuse of non-action. Also, the police here just seem way, way, way too stupid. When common sense fails in any movie, it’s in free fall. When common sense fails in a survival thriller, everything goes splat.
THE EX-PRESS, May 4, 2018