Watching the trailer for Dean Devlin’s BAD SAMARITAN you might get the impression that you are walking into a heist film or even a horror film like Saw or Hostel…but I’m happy to say that this is not the case. Not that I hate Saw or Hostel or heist films, but this is a thrilling cat and mouse chase and screenwriter Brandon Boyce did a phenomenal job setting up our two main characters, Sean and Cale, (Robert Sheehan and David Tennant) in a believable hunt of bad guy turned good guy, sorta, chasing even more bad guy.
Maybe I over complicated it but the setup to this film doesn’t. Robert Sheehan’s Sean Falco is a struggling photographer who is using his valet job as a way to steal valuables from customers of the restaurant, and it’s easy to see something like this happening. The way Sean and his cohort Derek (Carlito Olivero) steal is genius. They take someone’s car, reroute their GPS back home, and use the garage door opener attached to the visor to get into the house. Then they grab a few things, reroute back to the restaurant and it’s like they weren’t even there. Then they meet Cale, who is most likely the ultimate “get”. He drives a Maserati, dresses well, and seems single, but when trying to grab items from his home Sean comes upon a captive woman.
It’s at this point that you could think this will turn into a horror film, but what plays out is a story of one bad guy trying to take down another bad guy. They both use technology to their advantage. Sean uses his skills as a thief while Cale uses his skills of manipulation and deceit. The film plays out over the course of 107 minutes but I could have watched these two people try to get each other for another hour.
What’s amazing about this film is that it’s not some big blockbuster. It’s an indie film and a passion project for everyone involved. In a press event I attended in West Hollywood Devlin explained ”We are independently releasing the film and independently funded. The cast and crew have been traveling around the United States, screening the film and doing publicity.” It’s guerilla marketing at it’s finest for a fantastic product.
I won’t even say that there is a breakout performance here. Robert Sheehan plays a thief that you never once dislike. He’s sympathetic and lovable, even when he is at his worst. David Tennant has mastered being psychotic. Between his role as Kilgrave in Netflix’s Jessica Jones and this film, I’m convinced he is soulless, but his acting is so good. In truth he is charming and fun to be around. At the press event in West Hollywood he stated, “There was something rather delicious about exploring those darker corners of the human psyche!” and he exclaimed that he had read a book that Brandon Boyce had given him: The Wisdom of Psychopaths by Kevin Dutton.
I know that we are in the midst of big giant summer blockbuster movies. You can see Avengers and Star Wars films this month, but I think BAD SAMARITAN is well worth your time. It’s 1 hour and 45 minute run time will keep you on the edge or your seat and you’ll be rooting to see more by the end.