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Good Deeds (2012)

June 28, 2012

1/10 Moments of Clarity

You know a movie’s bad when you hope Madea shows up.

Good Deeds is about a wealthy guy who runs the family business, is engaged to a fine woman from a fine family, and has a younger brother who’s a total piece of shit. With the exception of his asshole brother who keeps trying to sabotage the family business, our man Wesley Deeds has what some might call a “perfect” life. But that’s not the way Wesley Deeds sees it. See, Wesley Deeds feels trapped, like he’s going through the motions in a life that was expected of him. This is not the life he chose, but it’s the life he’s leading anyway. Then on one fateful day, all that starts to change when he meets a down-on-her-luck janitor who works in his building. The more they get to know each other and the more he begins to help her out of the kindness of his heart, the more he starts to live the life he’s always dreamed of.

I know what you’re thinking: what in God’s name compelled him to watch this? Many times did I ask myself that very question, the answer to which is actually more complicated than it should be. The short answer: such is the life of a movie blogger with a Netflix account. The long story: it takes an unacceptably long time for the good new releases to become available on Netflix, and since I’ve only been reviewing new releases these days, I figured I’d throw some shitty ones in there that I could watch right away. Figure I could get some new material up on the site, balance out all these positive Verdicts in the process, everybody wins. Right? WRONG! Holy fuck was I wrong.

Somewhere along the way, I forgot to consider that I’d actually have to watch these trash humpers. I could deal with Contraband, I could deal with Ghost Rider, but this? This is the final straw. So with a showing of will power that few outside of Guantanamo will ever experience, I stuck this out and started purging my queue when it was all over. Yes, it’s my own damn fault that this came in the mail in the first place and I should flog myself for not headbutting that God-forsaken disc back to Hell where it came from, but what’s done is done. All that’s left is to tear it to shreds.

So where to begin, where to begin?

Well, the story’s a joke. Think you know how this story’s gonna play out? Well guess what? Wesley ends up quitting his job to follow his heart, breaks things off with his fiancee, and winds up going steady with the janitor who turns out to be the love of his life. Bet ya’ didn’t see that one coming, infant child! The only other Tyler Perry movie I’ve seen is Diary of a Mad Black Woman, and this is just as preachy, forced, and wildly unpredictable as that was. Not to mention that every single conflict gets mega-conveniently and mega-amicably resolved without so much as a batted eyelash. Call off your wedding to marry a janitor? Up and leave your high-paying job to do God-knows-what? Finally tell off your dickhead brother in front of hundreds of people? No big deal! As long as you’re happy, we understand, Wesley Deeds.

That’s not how life works. People tend to suffer consequences for their actions, not fall into “Get Out of Jail Free” cards. Is that news? Am I dropping a bomb on Tyler Perry right now? Good gravy, was that a weird way to wrap everything up.

And then there’s the characters, who are also a joke. You know that skit “When ‘Keeping it Real Goes’ Wrong” from Chappelle’s Show? That Wesley’s brother, Walter, all the time. Our first introduction to Walter is when he’s practically pimp-slapping some white lady outside his building on the way to work. Then, not five minutes later, Wesley is forced to intervene when is brother nearly kicks a single mom in the head for taking Wesley’s parking space. Why is he like this? Something about how women are the inferior sex, daddy didn’t love him, and Wesley stole his job. I kid you not, every single time Walter is on camera, he’s on the verge of shooting someone in the face.

Nicest Guy on the Planet: “Great job on those TPS reports, Walter!”
Walter: “Say ‘TPS reports’ again! Say it! I dare you, I double dare you, motherfucker! Say ‘TPS reports’ one more time!”
NGotP: “Do you need a hug?”
Walter, choking the guy with his own tie: “I’MMA KILL YOU, BITCH!

Just utter madness from one of the worst, most one-dimensional characters I’ve ever seen in a movie. But they’re all like that! Some of the stuff that comes out of the janitor’s mouth made my jaw hit the floor. For instance: Wesley catches her using the company phone and politely asks her to not do that. How does she respond? Something along the lines of, “Oh, yes, massa’. I won’t use the phone no mo’.” Folks, that is not me being racist, that is actually what she says, right out of her neck. Why would she say that? No one says that! That shit is crazy!

Good lord, I really don’t know how to convey how poorly-written and astoundingly heavy-handed this script is in every single way. It’d be one thing if the cast could salvage it, but their efforts are about as useful as tying a life preserver to the Titanic. Thandie Newton overacts her ass off as the janitor; Gabrielle Union is there; Eddie Cibrian is there; Rebecca Romijn is there for some reason; and there’s an absolutely bizarre/unintentionally hilarious cameo from Jamie Kennedy who plays Wesley’s fiancee’s ragingly flamboyant friend. He has maybe two lines in the whole movie, and for some reason he delivers them like Mr. Slave. I don’t know why, but such is the genius of Jamie Kennedy.

All in all, it makes for one terribly odd display of unrealistic people dealing with realistic situations. And minus extra points for cranking the audio to deafeningly loud volumes every time the scene moves to a club. We get it, clubs are loud. That’s why we’re watching Good Deeds instead of bleeding out of our ears and paying 30 bucks for a Jack and coke that’s probably roofied anyway. God, I hate clubs.

Surprisingly enough, the one thing that saved this movie from getting a donut is that Tyler Perry himself is a actually a halfway-decent actor. Maybe it’s ’cause he actually knows how to deliver his own dialogue, or maybe it’s some sinister plot to make himself look better by directing his peers to act like clubbed seals, but his performance is the only one in this movie that could be considered borderline human.

Aside from being a flat-out awful life experience, movies or otherwise, Good Deeds is one of the most excruciatingly boring and vapid movies I have ever had the displeasure to sit through. I just watched the trailer again and almost passed out on my keyboard at the fifty second-minute mark. Such a total mess. I mean, its intentions are good, and congrats to Perry for capitalizing on a demographic that had been ignored by Hollywood, ’cause he’s obviously doing something right even if he could be doing much, much better. But to me, watching this is like staring at one of those Magic Eye 3D paintings. Where some people can look at it and see magic without squinting, I just end up staring at squiggles, wondering if it’s worth the headache.

Something tells me it’s not.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. June 28, 2012 12:16 am

    Wow! ONE out of ten? Harsh.

    I thought it was somewhat bearable; I believed some of the situational things that the characters went through (like Newton’s character and her daughter in poverty) even though, admittedly, the screenplay was so preachy about pretty much everything. Aside from the two leads, Perry and Newton, it sucked that everyone else’s characters were throw-aways.

    • June 28, 2012 9:42 am

      What can I say? It was a harsh movie, man.

      I totally believed what they were going through as well, it was just the uber-hyperbolized characters that were in the said situations who made it unbearable.

      But how about Jamie Kennedy, huh? That was GOLD right there!

  2. June 28, 2012 1:09 am

    This review made me laugh. I saw this movie when it came out on a night I saw two movies. I saw Act of Valor and then Good Deeds…. I had to make myself sit through the whole movie because I’d paid full price for a ticket but damn if it wasnt painful. I probably would have given it higher than a 1 out of 10 but for the life of me, after reading your review I can’t figure out why. Nice job. Way to take one for the team but stop already. There are plenty of good movies you can watch instead. 🙂

    • June 28, 2012 9:43 am

      Haha. Glad to hear it and thanks!

      And that sounds like the worst double-feature you could have hit up all year. Will absolutely stop watching these catastrophes, just isn’t worth it.

  3. June 28, 2012 6:06 pm

    Sounds like deep, deep down you just wanted to punish yourself by watching a Tyler Perry film!

    Even Spike Lee can’t stand this guy’s crappy oeuvre (I think that’s word of the day right there Aiden).

    • July 17, 2012 10:30 am

      Damn, that’s an SAT word right there.

      And yeah, I was asking for it wasn’t I? Don’t always agree with what comes out of Spike Lee’s mouth, but he is preaching to the choir on this one.

  4. June 30, 2012 5:46 pm

    I haven’t heard of this, but chances are I would have seen the preview somewhere in due course – and thought “Ugh! No way.”

  5. July 7, 2012 3:57 pm

    Perry seems like a nice enough guy, but his movies are a chore to sit through. You should have waited to see Alex Cross, at least that would have a hammy Matthew Fox.

    • July 25, 2012 11:37 am

      I’m just gonna avoid Perry at all costs from now on. At least the only thing he has to do with Alex Cross is act, and he’s way better at that than anything else.

      And is it just me, or does Matthew Fox look fucking ridiculous in that trailer?

  6. July 19, 2012 10:52 am

    I know this is totally unrelated to the post (but then again, not it is related, cause it seems you’re in dire need of a good flick). Have you heard of “Why Stop Now”? Fantastic movie, I loved it.

    • July 25, 2012 11:31 am

      Hahaha. Thanks for the heads up! Never heard of it, but always appreciate a good recommendation.

  7. July 19, 2012 10:53 am

    Wrote a little review here:

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