Friday, February 20, 2015

THE SAMARITAN (2012)



Directed By: David Weaver 
Written By: David Weaver & Elan Mastai 
Cinematography By: Francois Dagenais 
Editor: Geoff Ashenhurst 


Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Ruth Negga, Gil Bellows, Luke Kirby, Tom Wilkinson, Deborah Kara Unger


After twenty years in prison, Foley is finished with the grifter's life. When he meets an elusive young woman named Iris, the possibility of a new start looks real. But his past is proving to be a stubborn companion.

This straight to DVD little ditty is a nice modern neo-noir that mixes in elements that of course you might have seen before but never quite in this combination.

The film stays small scale which works to it’s benefit as this is a noirish con story it's best not to include too much unnecessary details.

Some might feel it's limited budget prohibits the film from being fully realized. I disagree and feel the smaller nature keeps the film focused on the world of underground crime and you are either a player or the played.

The film plays it's cards close to it's chest even while you can see where it is going. When it gets there it takes some leaps and yes you will recognize certain plot elements from Other films.

Samuel L. Jackson stars in this film and he is slowly becoming the new generations Christopher Walken, As Walken gets older he is slowly down and not as prolific. It Finally looks like he is taking time for himself and choosing to be in less projects. Where as Jackson seems like he is willing to take anything as long as it is work and a check. And just like Walken he is able to be all over the place and appear in subpar films and still have popular recognition to appear in more a-list projects while still being respected as an actor.

Though like any actor even his straight to dvd record is hit or miss sometimes he appears in some surprisingly good sleeper films like this one and other times he appears is abysmal ones like KITE, ARENA and MEETING EVIL

He does what is needed for his part here and remains believable with no glad standing speeches. So that it plays like a throwback nice and dirty little thriller. That also spotlights some kind of redemption for the main characters

He is not the only actor who seems to be slumming Tom Wilkinson also appears in the film as more of an extended cameo. Gil bellows also plays a supporting role and it’s nice to see him around in films. As he is a nice presence in the films he usually appears in. He always seemed to be an actor who seemed on his way to stardom, but somehow got lost or shafted along the way. Never finding that right role. Or like Corbin Bernsen seemed on his way and a heartthrob then started losing his hair and as those follicles went away so did interest. Let's not forget he had a role in THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION that was written and ear marked for Brad Pitt until he turned it down.

The true breakout star of this film is Ruth Negga as the femme-fatale I have seen her around in small supporting roles before and always felt she was noteworthy, but here she gets a role that truly lets her talent and beauty shine through. She hypnotizes your eyes and Senses to focus on her throughout. It's only a shame his film didn't reach more of an audience. So she could get discovered the way she deserves.

This is a nice little twisted time waster. That after might haunt your memory and that is not necessarily a bad thing. As the film is better than you might think and definitely better then expected.

GRADE: C

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