Hey folks, Valkor here. My boy Samuel Jackson is one busy actor recently. He's made quite a few films from last year till now, with a few that have passed through the TOV gates; Unthinkable – awesome! Arena – Not so awesome! But good or bad, the man still brings the cool no matter what movie he's doing, and that goes double for next month's most anticipated film – The Avengers where he'll play Shield Agent Nick Fury. But until then let's see how well he fares in "The Samaritan". A film that I give high marks, eventhough it slacks off a bit.
Grifter – A person who swindles you by means of deception or fraud. Somethin you'll need to know before goin in.
In The Samaritan, Jackson plays a grifter named Foley, who's been released from prison after serving 25 years for killing his partner. But now he's a free man, got himself a construction job, and even met himself a fine piece by the name of Iris (Ruth Negga). Iris has other issues such as being a whore and a druggy, but after Foley risks his neck saving her life, she's all his. But Foley's life is about to change when enters Ethan (Luke Kirby), the son of Foley's ex-partner, who also works for a no-goodnick named Xavier (Tom Wilkinson). Ethan wants Foley in on the ultimate con against a mark that he knows he can get over on. But Foley isn't on board – I mean the dude just got out and fallen in love; he ain't lookin for a reason to go back to the pen. But Ethan has a secret he reveals to Foley, ensuring his participation in his scheme and should Foley go against it, Ethan will be sure to expose this secret, fucking up his life but good. The con that Ethan wants to use is a popular one by Foley called "The Samaritan". And the mark? Ethan's boss Xavier.
I've tried to remain as spoiler free as possible, because there's an interesting twist that happens about mid way. Some might see the similarity of that twist compared to another film of not quite similar nature, but I won't mention the name. But should you watch The Samaritan and you realize the film its connected with... brix will be shat.
The Samaritan is an engaging thriller that grabs you from the jump and holds you until about half way, maybe three quarters of the way in (which we'll get into later), but otherwise, it's rock solid and very entertaining. That plot twist I mentioned above happens almost midway through and it's quite jaw-dropping. I think it worked better in that "other film" because there was a nice build up to it. However the twist still works and its very effective. What carries the film overall are its performers starting with Sam "The Man" Jackson, who always brings his A-Game to any film he appears. Even the bad ones are worth at least one sit through if he's in it. In The Samaritan he plays the down and out grifter quite well. The dude is tough, yet compassionate but still you don't wanna mess with him because he will fuck you up! You can see it in his eyes and feel it in his voice (then again that's how Sam talks in most films). It's brilliant… just brilliant. I'll also give it up to Luke Kirby for playing Foley's adversary. It's like a game of chess between the two and you're gonna love to hate this guy. But stand out performance goes to Ruth Negga who, dare I say it, out performs Jackson by a mile? Yea... I dare. Not only is she amazingly talented, but dear god she is GORGEOUS!!! I know I've said this about a lot of women on teh site, but with that face and that voice, my god she is just too damn beautiful! So great story, solid performances, and a plot twist that will drop your jaw; what could possibly be bad about it?
Well for a film that's 90 minutes long, it feels a whole lot longer. That's more nitpicking than anything else, but it's very noticeable. Next is the plot twist – not so much when it happens, but what happens after it happens. The film begins to fall a bit flat, however It does a nice job of picking up, especially when we get to the confrontation between Foley, Ethan, and Xavier. But the final end… meh. It works as an ending, but it's nothing amazing.
The Samaritan is available now on Netflix and also on Amazon's "Instant Video" service. The Samaritan is an excellent crime thriller with a gripping story and amazing actors that's a definite must see and I highly recommend it. So out of TOV 5 stars, I give the film a 4.5.
"Nothing changes unless you make it change."