House on Turk Street [2002]

Echoes of The Maltese Falcon reverberate through No Good Deed, a loose, updated adaptation of Dashiell Hammett's kidnapped-cop tale The House on Turk Street. Unfortunately, the film proves an interesting disaster at best, certain to leave fans of noir director Bob Rafelson (Blood and Wine) wondering what happened. Samuel L. Jackson plays lonely police detective and amateur cellist Jack Friar, whose search for a missing girl results in being taken captive by a motley gang of dreamers, lost souls, and psychopaths on the eve of a bank heist. Left alone with an armed but sympathetic, Russian-classical-pianist-turned-femme-fatale (Milla Jovovich), Jack finds someone to save. But the film's credulity is lost when Rafelson fails to convince us that Jack's honor-bound refusal to escape, despite a prime opportunity while nuzzling the defenseless Milla, is a good and honorable thing. One can feel authentic Hammett themes stirring here, but it's not enough. --Tom Keogh

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