‘Bad Samaritan’ plays like an unambitious episode of “Black Mirror,” low on techno-savvy but enhanced by the always-compelling David Tennant and Robert Sheehan, an Irish actor best known for his role on the British series “Misfits.” Tennant, working the creep vibe he used to such great effect in Netflix’s “Jessica Jones,” plays a well-to-do psychopath in this wobbly affair, which sees petty thief Sean (Sheehan) trying to rescue an imprisoned woman (Kerry Condon) he discovers while robbing a mansion.
It happens to be the home of Tennant’s Cale Erendreich, an “American Psycho”-meets-“Equus” villain obsessed with horses, surveillance systems and, in a groaningly familiar trope, abducting and torturing women. Sean is an aspiring photographer who runs a valet service with his buddy Derek (Carlito Olivero) — and a side gig breaking and entering while the vehicle’s occupants are at dinner. The duo’s method, which involves using a car’s GPS system to direct them to the houses, seems spotty at best; how many people need directions to their own homes? It’s only the opening salvo in a film full of dubious plot devices, which makes a certain amount of sense coming from Dean Devlin, director of the equally silly if fairly enjoyable “Geostorm.” Some time later, Sean’s girlfriend (Jacqueline Byers) is imperiled, too; Initially, Cale snares Sean’s racy photos of her and distributes them to a classroom full of her college peers, a move that recalls some of the stupider moments in “Gossip Girl.”
Still, despite all the eye-rolling dialogue and implausible developments, Tennant’s sheer malevolence holds your attention. There’s also a single line — just 10 minutes from the end credits, and not one I’ll spoil here, even by saying whose it is — that’s so funny, and so perfectly delivered, it almost makes this whole ridiculous thing worthwhile.
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