Bad Samaritan is about Sean (Robert Sheehan), a small-time burglar who uses his job as a valet to break into people’s houses. Sean breaks into Cale Erendreich’s house (David Tennant), only to find a chained-up woman (Kerry Condon). After failed attempts to save her, Sean runs away from the house to avoid getting discovered. However, his conscience does not let him forget the encounter. Instead Sean goes to the police, and then attempts to save the girl himself. Both of which put him in the eye of the vicious Cale.
The film’s plot brief is thrilling enough to make you want to watch it, but what about the actual film?
Firstly, the film frames Cale’s actions as an attempt to destroy Sean’s life, but what did he really do? He sent his girlfriend an offensive text, he got his mother and step dad suspended and similar actions. These actions were blown out of proportion which defused the effect of the much more dire actions to come, like physically harming his loved ones and endangering their lives.
Secondly, Despite the film’s strongest efforts to make Sean interesting and relatable, it just does not work: he is, after all, a thief. Thirdly, the motives of the characters were not really clear, even towards the end. Cale’s past is only revealed in the last fifteen minutes of the film and at that point the audience does not really care anymore, they just want the girl to be saved. If his past was explained gradually throughout the film, it would have been a much stronger tool. We also never find out how he captures this woman, and the other women that the film insinuates he had before her. For Sean the motive is that he simply has a conscience.
The film’s music was also badly chosen, it was almost funny how the music made mundane scenes dramatic, and dramatic scenes feel almost inspirational. The entire soundtrack was off and needs to be reworked.
Robert Sheehan did not really stand out in this film, which may be due to the film’s execution and script, but is also partly because his performance was flat. He did not portray the extreme emotions he should have been portraying to truly make the film dramatic, even at key moments like seeing his girlfriend in hospital after being beaten up.
David Tennant, on the other hand, was much better and fit the part of the psychopath almost too well, except at the end scene where everything unraveled, and it seemed like he was imitating another character from another film and even trying to be funny.
If you like a thrill, there are some moments here and there in Bad Samaritan but be prepared to not be impressed.