Bad Samaritan directed by Dean Devlin
I've been dealing with anxiety this last week. I have this feeling like my soul is bleeding. I had some interviews for the mid to long term career goal, and I went to two job fairs. I'm trying to focus on what I can do, but I just feel oppressive weight like I need to do more, really I need to focus on short term goals right now.
At one of the job fairs there was a professional photographer taking headshots for your linkedin.com profile. To be fair I was a little tired, but I saw the pictures of myself, and oh my lord! These pictures murdered something in me. I looked like Frankenstein's monster and a depressed moose had a baby! I am in a very deep, but very familiar hole. I know I can get myself out of it, but still I feel like shit right now.
I went and saw the first showing of Bad Samaritan, the Thursday 7:00 PM showing. I happened to walk into a meetup in the theater of people who had worked on the movie. They were way into it and were taking selfies together. It was a good crowd, Bad Samaritan was shot in Portland Oregon. Its a Hitchcockian thriller that actually uses the city of Portland as a character, the same way Alfred Hitchcock used San Francisco in many of his films.
Hitchcock-esque Thrillers have been homaged, remade, subverted, updated and refreshed by generations of filmmakers at this point and for a very good reason. They work! This film kept reminding me of Shallow Grave from 1994. One of my favorite Hitchcockian flicks. That was the first Danny Boyle movie and the first starring role for Ewan McGregor, The star of Bad Samaritan is a fresh faced Irish actor, Robert Sheehan. While not quite as charming as Ewan Mcgregor, he's got an interesting face and he can pull off a starring role, its a very committed and notably good performance. Another echo of Shallow Grave is that they both feature a Dr Who. Instead of Eccleston we have David Tennant as the baddie who is also quite committed and genuinely terrifying.
This movie is a lot of fun. Its simple, a petty thief bites off more than he can chew, when he breaks into the home of a psychopath.
This film is filled with intrigue and tension, it takes its time building up the characters and even though it looks decent enough for the most part, sometimes there is a weird video quality to the images. Its doesn't come off as a high budget affair, but its great to see Portland, and the cinematic quality of the surrounding area on screen and portrayed with love and care, and quite beautifully and effectively 90% of the time.
The last ten minutes ruin everything. I suppose they were trying to subvert the idea of women being victims in films, which I get. But it caused the film to veer off the rails, and seemed like an afterthought. It made an otherwise grounded and awesome, clever little character movie seem dumb, and almost cutesy. If they were going to subvert that conventional role for the female in the victim role they could have set that up earlier in the movie. I don't know if that is the only reason why it didn't work but the third act lost me. There is a whole piece with the authorities that doesn't really play.
Still its a movie worth watching. It had the makings of a classic in the genre, and hopefully its a star maker for Robert Sheehan, but I can only really recommend it as a rental.