If there’s one thing we can envy about Elan Mastai and David Weaver’s script The Samaritan (AKA: Fury), it would definitely be their sustainability policy; the ex-con trying to go straight, the gorgeous hooker with a golden heart, the evil British boss, the smiling shark in a suit, the Oldboy plot twist… All these traits lead me to believe that The Samaritan is to cinema what Greenpeace is to the world: a reminder that it’s okay to recycle.
Jackson plays an ex-grifter (swindler/con, I didn’t know either) gone straight who, after 25 years in prison for murder, is forced to do “one last job” by his ex-Partner’s son, the smiling shark in a suit, Ethan (Luke Kirby) – who has an evil British boss, Xavier (Tom Wilkinson). Developing a relationship with the gorgeous hooker with a golden heart, Iris (Ruth Negga), Ethan knows a secret (cough, Oldboy) to use against Foley and manipulate him into doing the job.
Billed as a Tarantino-esque thriller, unfortunately the only link that could be made with Tarantino would be the movie-guru’s high praise of Oldboy; a movie that The Samaritan’s storyline ‘You’ve got to know a secret to tell a secret’ is uncannily similar to. The touches of ‘neo-noir’ came in the form of a delicate piano score from Todor Kobakov which, nice as it was, felt a little predictable in places.
Jackson delivers everything asked from him; he cries when things get emotional and he wields a gun when dealing with that emotion, and of course what’s a film with SamJack in without a trademark monologue in the process of inflicting pain? This time he gives his victim a lesson on big and small knives.
Ruth Negga’s performance as Iris is worthy of sound recognition; fresh from the set of TV series Misfits, her American accent is definitely up there with the likes of Stringer Bell (Idris Elba) in The Wire. Fellow British actor, Tom Wilkinson, thawed out from his role as merciless mob-boss ‘Griffin’ in Rush Hour 1, along with Luke Kirby play equally convincing “baddies”, Xavier and Ethan.
Although the end is a little bit like you’ve flicked over to Danny Boyle’s The Beach, and you wonder why a film called ‘The Samaritan’ (the name of an “inside job”) touches only very gently on “the con”, the performances deserve a watch even if the script is a little predictable.
Words > Ollie Bowie-Phillips