Bad Samaritan sees Sean, Robert Sheehan (“Geostorm“, “The Road Within“), as a young Irish man in Portland making money by entering people’s homes, using their keys, as he acts as a valet at a local Italian restaurant.
This goes wrong however, when he breaks into the house of Cale, David Tennant (“Mad To Be Normal“, “Doctor Who (TV)”), who is a tad unhinged after an incident in his youth.
Upon breaking into Cale’s house, Sean stumbles across a woman Riley, Jacqueline Byers (“Timeless”, “Salvation (TV)”), tied to a chair, badly beaten and needing help, Sean panics and makes his escape.
Cale isn’t a dummy though, and through a combination of remote tech and lots of mobile phones, he begins to tear Sean’s life apart, bit by bit.
Bad Samaritan is written by Brandon Boyce (“Wicker Park”, “Blank Slate (Short)”) and directed by Dean Devlin, who you may remember from Geostorm. It has some great talent, sadly, this isn’t enough to save it.
Not even Tennant, usually so good, can act his way out of this cliché ridden mess. It’s stuff we’ve seen before, quite a lot, and we’ve seen it done much, much better.
If you want to see a really good film about a man keeping someone chained up in his house, take a look at the excellent Chained with Vincent D’Onofrio, Bad Samaritan doesn’t come close.
We have people getting hit with shovels multiple times and yet managing to get up afterwards. Bad guys knocked down with guns in their hands which aren’t taken.
We get an Irish boy trying to do the right thing but, surprise, surprise, the police won’t believe him because he has previous, petty crimes, on his rap sheet.
Couple all of this with an extremely slow and frustrating pace and direction that won’t set your world on fire and, I’m sorry to say, you’re left with a straight-to-video movie with few redeeming features.
Given the task, even the story, Bad Samaritan (which is a really odd title given the content) should have been a whole let better than it has turned out.
Also published on Medium.