Bad Samaritan begins with a somehow-profoundly-hilarious scene of horse whipping that is edited for maximum epilepsy and culminates with David Tennant giving himself a perm. Director Dean Devlin did the math and realized there was exactly one way to scrub Geostorm from his eventual obituary, and that was by forcing the former star of Doctor Who to serial-kill his sex appeal. With a script that feels like a shitty Reddit thread and at least two supporting roles filled by humans who had presumably never heard of acting before their first day on set, Bad Samaritan is a dumb, vulgar, unintentionally hilarious, surprisingly watchable B-movie.
Sean Falco (Robert Sheehan), who is not related to Keanu Reeves’ character from The Replacements, is one of those douchebags who gets his girlfriend to take a nude photo because of “how beautiful the light is.” He also robs the homes of the people whose cars he parks while working as a valet with his perpetually sour-faced buddy, Derek (Carlito Olivero). A human version of creeper online comments blessed with a lilting Irish accent, you only root for Sean because the alternative is rooting for a literal serial killer.
McGet-a-real-job tries to rob the house of the Maserati-driving Cale Erendreich (Tennant), which is unquestionably the best white-privilege criminal name of all time. Writer Brandon Boyce gets virtually nothing else right, but “Cale Erendreich” is hall-of-fame level nomenclature. When Not-Shane Falco discovers a trussed-up woman (Kerry Condon) in Cale’s HH home, his determination to save her sets off a one-sided war between an idiotically bad valet and a super-rich murder enthusiast.
Here’s why Bad Samaritan, a movie that should feel like xenomorph’s blood-based eye drops, “works:” Apparently, only David Tennant knew that they were making shit cupcakes with fecal frosting, and he wisely goes all the way out in the role. Self-awareness is B-movie kryptonite, with plane snakes and Ian Ziering doing their level best to pluck the pearl of engagingly trash cinema away from us. Devlin and company are deliriously oblivious, which leads to captivatingly terrible entertainment.
Whatever you think the score should sound like when a terrified thief is being chased by a savage dog, there is absolutely no chance you’re envisioning the plinky-plunky weird score they went with. Whatever dialogue you expect to hear during a showdown between killer and victim, you cannot have predicted the words that are spoken in this order and tone. Whatever you think Tennant looks like with a frizzy, curly hairdo, quintuple the embarrassment.
This sincerely made thriller with an itty-bitty IQ will never be confused for “good,” but it is fully immersive in its floundering failure. Give me 100 Bad Samaritans before you give me one Justice League. Consider this a very specific type of recommendation for those who get giggly drunk on a very specific type of cinematic shenanigans. The phrase shouldn’t really be “so bad it’s good,” it should be “the best kind of bad.”
Grade = C+