Shotgun toting bank robbers? Samuel Jackson? What could be
better? For starters, Jackson as the bad guy. “No Good Deed” is the
latest film directed by Bob Rafelson, better known for his work
“The Postman Always Rings Twice” opposed to lesser-seen “Erotic
Tales”. Originally based on Dashiel Hammett’s short story “The
House on Turk Street” way back in 1924, “No Good Deed” is decidedly
noir-fare due to the dark setting and classic story, but it lacks
quality acting and is filled with nauseating dialogue.

The plot is typical – bank robbers take police officer Jack
Friar (Jackson) hostage when he stumbles into their hideout. Jack’s
simple life of cello playing and insulin shots are brought to a
halt as he involves himself in the crime; for his life, or maybe

The bad guys are led by Tyrone (Stellan Skarsgard, “Good Will
Hunting”), with team members including his lover, Erin (Milla
Jovovich, “Resident Evil”), who, strutting around in her slinky
outfits, seems to have “the ins” with every guy in town. Hoop (Doug
Hutchison) takes care of the dirty work while trying to keep his
temper under control and the Quarres (Joss Ackland and Grace
Zabriskie), the elderly swindlers seem almost irrelevant to the
quickly dissolving sure-fire heist plan. With everyone doubting
each other’s loyalty and clashing motives, it’s no wonder; they are
all fighting constantly.

Jackson, interestingly, strays from his usual line of swearing
badasses to play not a good neighbor and a moral cop but a cellist
as well. With Jackson – the best actor in the film (as is usual for
him) – tied to a chair for almost the entire movie, Rafelson leaves
the others awkwardly stumbling around the film’s greatest asset.
The movie too often relies on this group of shoddy actors as well
as Jackson’s cheesy lines.

The body count, however, takes care of the bad acting. The
quirky characters provide entertainment but not enough to hold the
movie. Maybe Jackson should stick to “Shaft,” because in the end,
no good deed goes unpunished.

Rating: 2 1/2 stars.







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