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Westside Steve

Bad Samaritan review

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Bad Samaritan
Electric Entertainment
R.                            107 min
Okay gang I know it’s silly season and I really didn’t expect a lot from this one. First of all I’ve never really heard of Electric Entertainment and second of all this looks like the very first directorial effort of Dean Devlin who’s kicked around for a while as a writer and sometimes actor, third it’s billed as a horror thriller and with that moniker the bar is often set pretty low. On top of that bad Samaritan doesn’t even show up on the splash page of Moviefone at least not as yet, but trust me it’s in general release. Still, it just opened so it’s at least current. Actually despite all those pre-show misgivings  it was better than I’d expected so from this point on you are officially reading under a spoiler alert. If you have any plans to see it stop reading now and come back to this review afterward okay?
Sean (Robert Sheehan) is it Irish kid with living with his Irish mother an American pop . It actually surprised me because I’d assumed that the accent was fake, reminding me of Maggie in CADDYSHACK but a little research and the kid was actually born and raised in Ireland.
Anyway he and his pal Derek (Carlito Olivero) have a small-time criminal operation going on. They worked as valet drivers at a fancy Italian restaurant. Knowing the patrons will be inside for an hour they take the car to the customers home and burglarized the place. One particular evening it’s Sean’s turn to drive. This time the victim is, Cale, (John Tennant, who delivers one of the best performances I’ve seen in awhile) who is not only extremely wealthy but a real pooper. Sean drives the Maserati to an elegant home and is shocked to find a girl chained to a chair in a place that appears to be a torture chamber. So the rich guy is a psycho killer. Sean’s dilemma? No time to get the chains off so how does he let the cops know without them finding out he was robbing the house? Well, his conscience gets the better of him and he alerts the authorities who, of course, don’t believe him but now the psycho now knows who he is.  Cale absconds with the girl to a cabin in the woods to further torment her and uses his vast arsenal of cyber techniques to ruin the lives of Sean, his family, his friends and his sweetheart.
So far it’s a clever  plot that walks a tightrope of suspense, but as the climax begins to build and the dragnet closes in on Cale, Sean and the imprisoned girl the story reverts to some shopworn plot devices.  One can expect in this type of film that at least somewhere the bad guy is going to pop out of nowhere, they just went to the well too often with this one. Another cliché, which is almost a joke, is when the villain is apparently defeated and the good guys turn their back on him. You know the drill. I really was hoping the writers had a few tricks up their sleeves that would turn BAD SAMARITAN and to one of those offseason sleepers, but I guess it wasn’t to be. Oh it’s still entertaining enough but I had to drop the opening grade from a solid recommendation to an anemic C+. 
PS , a quick observation if you decided to go see this one. Doesn’t the bad guy look like the love child of Charlie Sheen and Quentin Tarantino?
WSS
 

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