Any movie where two great actors get to go head to head is always worth watching and Bad Samaritan delivers this and more.
The dueling duo in question is Robert Sheehan and David Tennant who each play very different characters than you will have ever seen them as before and the battle also goes way beyond what you might expect as well.
Best known for his roles in Misfits, Fortitude and The Mortal Instruments Sheehan plays Sean a cheeky Irish rouge living in the US trying to make it as a photographer. To subsidies his passion he works with his best friend as a valet but what his family and girlfriend don’t know is that the devious lad also robs his customers while they eat their dinner.
Working on a code of ethics that include only taking small stuff to sell and only ripping off the very rich and most arrogant and annoying arrivals to the restaurant Sean sees the perfect target when Cale Erendreich, played by David Tennant, shows up in his swish new sports car and treats the likable crook like crap.
Taking the sweet ride back to Cale’s even more impressive house Sean sneaks in easily and thinks he’s struck gold when he finds a brand new credit card which he activates and takes. Spotting a locked door he concludes the most valuable loot must be inside but when he breaks in he discovers something he would never have imagined, a woman bound and gagged to a chair beaten and abused.
Forced into a massive moral dilemma Sean tries desperately to free her but starts to run out of time and ends up leaving the woman behind to take back Cale’s car to the restaurant and prevent the perverted psychopath working out what has happened. Wracked by guilt and remorse at not saving the lady he found Sean finally goes to the police and admits everything but by the time they visit Cale’s pad the whole thing has been covered up.
As Sean searches for any way to save the girl he believes is still alive and reveal Cale’s sick psychotic hobby to the authorities, Cale starts to work out not only who broke into his home but who called the cops and once he does he makes it his mission to punish the perpetrator in the worst way possible, by destroying Sean’s whole world.
Riffing on the idea presented in the brilliant slasher The Collector Bad Samaritan takes someone who appears at first to be the baddie of the piece and pits them against someone far, far worse. Sean may live be a dubious moral code but it is saintly compared to Cale who is a insane serial killer bent on torturing and breaking his victims before dispatching of them.
Driven by shame at his failure to help the latest victim in Cale’s corrupted quest for correction Sean is instantly redeemed in the eyes of the audience especially considering the extremes of Cale’s campaign against him once he discovers his identity.
What plays out is a thrilling game of cat and mouse where each character tries to outwit the other and as the film moves forward and builds up brilliantly both end up with the upper hand at times before the pendulum swings drastically the other way.
Tennant is awesome as Cale (as he is in everything he does lets be honest) even out psycho-ing Christian Bale at times as the malicious mad American millionaire proving he can be truly terrifying something those who have seen him in Jessica Jones may already know but fans of Dr. Who and Broadchurch may be a bit shocked by.
Wonderfully well written by Brandon Boyce who also adapted Apt Pupil and solidly directed by Dean Devlin, better known for his script work on various apocalyptic movies with Roland Emmerich, Bad Samaritan is a brilliant horror that proves however bad you think you are there is always someone way worse out there waiting for you.