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MOVIE REVIEW

Bad Samaritan also known as “Blogasis Samarietis,” “Loš Samaritanac”

MPAA Rating: R-Rating (MPAA) for violence, language throughout, some drug use and brief nudity.

Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan
CONTRIBUTOR

Extremely Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Horror Thriller
Length:
1 hr. 48 min.
Year of Release:
2018
USA Release:
May 4, 2018 (wide—2,007 theaters)
Copyright, Electric Entertainment click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Electric Entertainment Copyright, Electric Entertainment
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Electric Entertainment

Kidnapping

Serial murderers

Stealing and robbery

What is SIN AND WICKEDNESS? Answer

About the fall of humans to worldwide depravity—What is the FALL OF MAN? Answer

What is a SAMARITAN? Answer

The parable of the GOOD SAMARITAN is probably the most misunderstood parable. What is it mainly really about? Answer

Copyright, Electric Entertainment Copyright, Electric Entertainment Copyright, Electric Entertainment Copyright, Electric Entertainment
Featuring: David TennantCale Erendreich
Kerry Condon … Katie
Robert Sheehan … Sean Falco
Jacqueline Byers … Riley Seabrook
Lisa Brenner … Helen Leyton
Hannah Barefoot … Sabine
Carlito Olivero … Derek Sandoval
Rob Nagle … Don Falco
Dana Millican … Officer Anne Pickett
Austin Leo … Young Cale
Mike Brakefield … Restaurant Patron / Pedestrian
Tony Doupe … Det. Wayne Banyon
Delpaneaux Wills … Officer Aguilar
See all »
Director: Dean Devlin
Producer: Electric Entertainment
Dean Devlin
See all »
Distributor: Electric Entertainment

“One bad night… one bad decision… can haunt you forever”

Sean Falco is a young, Irish-American student, passionate in the field of photography and digital editing. But you see, Sean also has a second hobby on the side most people don’t know about. When he’s not out taking, eh, “passionate” pictures of his girlfriend or of other subject matters, he’s out supposedly working as a valet with his buddy at a local restaurant. Unbeknownst to the customers, however, Sean and his friend take valeting cars to the next level, by which I mean they use these cars to backtrack to people’s fancy homes and rob them. Everyone has to earn a living, right?

Sean and his buddy have been getting away with this for quite some time now, and it’s been a pretty sweet deal (I mean, hey, it’s just stuff people aren’t going to notice is gone, RIGHT?). It all goes wrong, however, when one night, as Sean is robbing a home, he walks into a room and notices a girl, beaten and strapped to a chair like an animal.

Now at this point, Sean is freaking out. What is he supposed to do? Call the police? Perhaps, but then he might have to identify how he knew there was a girl in there tied up. Leave the girl to die? Sean thinks, “That’s obviously not an option either!” To make matters worse, the kidnapper has cameras everywhere in that house, a MASTER manipulator and, as Sean points out, a psychopath who could snap and kill that innocent girl at any moment.

What’s a bad Samaritan to do?

“Bad Samaritan” is a hard pill to swallow. The film tries to sell the idea of “Hey, here’s this guy who was bad, but now is trying to do the right thing” mentality in the case of its main character, Sean. I really had no feelings for Sean in the beginning, but then when I saw him trying to do the right thing, I did, in a way, start to say, “Yea, I am kind of rooting for him. He wants to change.” In essence, this premise does allow for a genuine cat-and mouse plot scheme to occur between Sean and the main villain, played beautifully by David Tennant, that, in terms of pacing, carries the film fairly nice and smooth for the next 100 minutes.

Yet, the problem with this film lies mainly in the abundance of objectionable material scattered throughout the film. The viewer has to bear witness to scenes of partial nudity and several scenes of (sometimes graphic) violence. What’s worse is that the viewer has to listen to a never—ending cascade of bad language ranging from the f-bomb to the word p**sy (more on this in the Content for Concern section). I am truly getting tired, as a reviewer, of walking into a film, finding so much to enjoy, with regards to its plot and performances, only to have Hollywood destroy it by adding foul language and unnecessary sexual content to draw in younger audiences (highly ill-advised by the way!). The somewhat humorous part of this is that while Hollywood writers add this material to strengthen their films, often time these unnecessary sex/nudity scenes or over-abundant use of language throws off the pacing of the plot or the quality of the film. Go figure.

Content for Concern

Vularity/Language: Extreme! Here is the tally mark—f**k (72), J*sus Chr*st (4), J*sus (4), “J*sus f**king Chr*st” (1), “Holy f*ck, G*d (1), G*d-d**n (1), H*ll (1), sh*t (22), bull-sh*t (3), a**(2), a**-hole (5), b**ch (3). Other vulgar language includes p**s (1), scr*w (1), boobies (1), t*tties (1), d**che-bag (1), d**che-tard (1), sh*tra (1), pr*ck (1), “kinky b*stard” (1), ho (another name for a whore) (1), booty call (1), player (1).

Another offensive scene that I was appalled at begins at the beginning in the film in which Sean’s girlfriend, Riley, comes to the door asks if he wants to talk about the Lord, but then says she’ll “jump his bones instead.”

Sexual Content/Nudity: Extreme. Sean takes photos of Riley undressing (she stops half way through though). We later see the photo he took, as it is spread across the Internet, and one of her breasts is completely exposed in it. In another scene, the kidnapper (killer?) has his victim wash with lotions in a specific order (not in front of him), and he comes to visit her afterward, and she is in a towel. She then drops the towel, and we see her naked from behind (the killer is appalled by her dropping the towel). We also witness Sean bathing (shoulders and above). We also witness Sean and Riley having sex.

Violence: Very Heavy. There is a scene involving a fist fight. In another scene, Sean is almost run over by a car. A character is beaten in the head and then shot in the head. Riley is pulled by the hair, and her head is smashed against a brick wall in an alley, falling down a flight of stairs (we later see her in a hospital connected to a bunch of breathing tubes). Another character is hit with a shovel. Another is shot. Lastly, a character is beaten over and over with a stick until they die.

Morals

The whole underlying premise of “Bad Samaritan” is that is our moral responsibility to act accordingly when one is in trouble, not to stand on the sidelines and watch. In social-science, the term for when people hesitate to assist someone who is being mugged or attacked is called the “bystander effect.” The mindset is, “If it isn’t our business, stay out of it. I don’t want to get bruised.”

Truth be told, this bystander effect has been around for well over 2500+ years, ever since the story of the Good Samaritan in the Bible. Yes, we probably have all heard how the story goes, but what is more important are the lessons that we draw from it that, again, appear in Christ’s messages later. On the commandments, Jesus states:

“The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” –Mark 12:31

And Jesus states this about helping those in need…

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” –Matthew 7:12

Lastly in the book of Jeremiah it states:

“Thus says the LORD: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place.” —Jeremiah 22:3

Closing Thoughts

“Bad Samaritan” has me quite perplexed. It offers an interesting premise regarding morality and the responsibility to act while subjugating this premise under very unique and, to be quite honest, unlikely circumstances. Additionally, while the performance of David Tennant (and occasionally the lead) also offers some complexity and originality to the film, this does not negate the unnecessary and pervasive amount of language, partial nudity and sexual dialog that plagues this film. To put it simply, this is NOT a film for anyone, Christians or otherwise. PLEASE do NOT subject yourself or the Holy Spirit to this film. Find something better to do.

  • Violence: Very Heavy
  • Profane language: Very Heavy
  • Vulgar/Crude language: Extreme
  • Nudity: Very Heavy—• bare breasts • bare back (female) • woman wearing only a towel drops its • male showering (view is shoulders and above) • cleavage • shirtless male
  • Sex: • disrobing and sex scene • passionate kissing • sexual dialog

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


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Secular Movie Critics
…suspenseful, classic horror filmmaking, with plenty of jump scares and ominous camera movements. But where the film succeeds most is in its realistic use of technology. …
Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service
…Tennant, excellent as a creep, and Sheehan, who is appealing in his helplessness, provide the necessary depth. …Sometimes the movie is a little too slick. …
G. Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle
…spectacularly dumb, and weirdly entertaining bad-taste thriller… the kind of movie that many will assume can only be enjoyed ironically, or just with some sort of emotional detachment…
Simon Abrams, RogerEbert.com
…“Bad Samaritan” is a horrible little movie with two things going for it: one wigged-out performance and one genuinely terrific line that's so great, you want to be able to say that it saves the film. …
Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic
…a solid, popcorn-worthy thriller… [2½/4]
Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
…Mr. Tennant, who usually is scrupulous in conveying the nuances of volatile characters (see his work on the British television series “Broadchurch”), just goes utterly bananas here. Particularly in the last 15 minutes…
Glenn Kenny, The New York Times
…It’s all thoroughly unpleasant, but then, that’s what audiences for this kind of movie want from the experience, so consider it a success of sorts. …
Peter Debruge, Variety
…Should you find yourself in front of “Bad Samaritan” (and that could only ever be by force or out of sheer masochism), just sit back and revel in the verdant Portland scenery or marvel at the ill-fitting orchestral score by Joseph Loduca, who apparently thinks he’s composing for a Devlin super-production past like Stargate or Independence Day — both lost Da Vincis in comparison to this dross. …
Keith Uhlich, The Hollywood Reporter
…Devlin packs the picture with filler, shots that don’t advance the story, and barely manages to maintain forward momentum. He fails utterly to hold our interest via anything other than anticipation of the next time Tennant gets right up in the camera, bug-eyed, and insists on the “correction” of anyone who fails to heed his character’s perverse discipline. …[1½/4]
Roger Moore, Movie Nation
…slips into silliness, and not even the former Time Lord’s sliver of a grin can save it from slipping and sliding out of your memory…
Richard Whitaker, Austin Chronicle
…ridiculous… eye-rolling dialogue and implausible developments… Tennant’s sheer malevolence holds your attention… [2/4]
Sara Stewart, New York Post