It may come as a surprise to some of you that not everyone watches crime or horror movies. Whereas a STARBURST reader would never disturb a dead body or take a huge bag of money that has clearly been stashed by some sort of criminal, it seems those in movie-land aren’t as sensible.
Good People is a gritty London crime drama where a lovely couple (James Franco and Kate Hudson) decide to let their fixer-upper home out to a dodgy London geezer who just happens to be an armed robber. When they discover their tenant dead, they tell the police but fail to mention the enormous duffel bag filled with cash. Being middle-class, boring and rather dim, the two use the big wedge of money to sort out their financial problems. This leads to a crime lord who calls himself Genghis Khan to come after them. Fortunately, the local police detective is not quite as stupid as the couple and soon figures out what’s going on.
What could be a taut drama on the nature of greed along the lines of Shallow Grave is sadly nothing of the sort. Franco and Hudson phone it in as a couple very much confused by the real world, and the rest of the cast seem equally bored. There are few scenes of genuine menace, but these are lost amid a leisurely paced drama that seems more interested in the domestic affairs of the main characters rather than telling a story. The central problem is that good people tend also to be quite boring. This is neither a moralistic tale about what happens when the well intentioned do bad things, nor is it a character driven crime drama. There are no characters to move the story here, just good actors doing their best to deal with a wooden script.
It doesn’t help that the ending, which involves a booby trapped home, is also poorly implemented. What could have been a darker version of Home Alone may have saved the entire thing, but the obvious lack of budget means it doesn’t really go anywhere.
Good People, bad movie.