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Saturday, August 11, 2018

Bad Samaritan 2018 * * 1/2 Stars

Bad SamaritanDirector: Dean Devlin
Year: 2018
Rated R
Rating: * * 1/2 Stars
Cast: David Tennant, Robert Sheehan, Kerry Condon

A petty thief who's also a budding photographer (and resident pot head), attempts to rob a rich guy's sterile abode. Here's the problem: That same rich guy has a woman chained up, held captive, and gagged in his office. Said guy finds out about the thief's break in (and rescue attempt) and tries to make his life a living hell. That's the gist of the decently acted, comically inept, and tamely R-rated, Bad Samaritan. It's my latest review.

"Samaritan" is actually about a good Samaritan and not a bad Samaritan (despite the tag of the film's title). Sure the thief character pilfers stuff (by way of deceptive valet parking) but at least he's willing to save a human life, face alleged jail time, and not turn the other cheek.

Image result for bad samaritan movie scenesAnyway, Bad Samaritan while not quite recommendable, has one of the most original and most kosher premises of any flick I've seen this year. At an overlong running time of 111 minutes (when an hour and a half would've sufficed), "Samaritan" contains a small amount of Hitchcockian flavor, some overcast Rose City chic, and some rocketing buildup in its opening act. Then, the film piles on plot detours and turns until it concludes on a rather silly note.

"Samaritan's" director (Dean Devlin) trades in his sci-fi producer roots to make a thriller that contains enough cell phone usage and clueless cop intuition to power a small country. His focus is on psychological tug of war, cliched Facebook notions, slick cars, requisite jump scares, and a lack of visible bloodshed. With Bad Samaritan's hyperactive musical score and overly earnest way of creating suspense, Devlin might be making a movie that's too mildly ambitious for its own good. He shoots "Samaritan" with a nippy, Portland, Oregon setting and a villain that looks like Kyle MacLaclan a la an episode of the defunct Tales from the Crypt. I was absorbed most of the way but I kept saying to myself, "Dean, just end this thing already".

Image result for bad samaritan movie scenesBottom line: Bad Samaritan might be one of the best rentals of 2018 (disregard its paltry, $4.1 million take at the box office). Still, it gets a two and a half star rating from me. This "Samaritan" ain't bad but it presents itself in a disappointingly "charitable" way.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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