Movie Reviews

‘Good Deeds’: First world problems

By Wang DexianMovies - 27 June 2012 12:05 PM | Updated 12:25 PM

‘Good Deeds’: First world problems

Tyler Perry and Gabrielle Union in 'Good Deeds'

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Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

The Cast: Tyler Perry, Thandie Newton, Gabrielle Union

The Buzz: Tyler Perry movies are wildly popular and also kind of infamous over in the United States. This is probably the first time a Tyler Perry movie is screening here.

The Story: Wesley Deeds (Tyler Perry) is a very successful man who is living the life and is now running the company his dad built from the ground up and soon to marry his pretty hot girlfriend (Gabrielle Union).

However, much of that has been dictated by his mother's wishes, not his. When he meets Lindsey Wakefield (Thandie Newton), a struggling cleaner in his employment, a simple good deed he does starts him down the path of rediscovering himself. But to do that he must choose between himself and his family; including his mother who has bet everything on him and also his crazy jealous younger brother. says: While the premise is decidedly feel good, the film suffers from a major problem; Tyler Perry just isn't very good taking on the dual role of a director and actor. The feel good plot is really quite predictable and there just aren't enough curveballs thrown Wesley's way.

The highs and lows of the movie aren't very high or very low. Which means, it is not funny or even that sad, turning the movie into a string of melodrama accompanied by 90s era RnB crooners.

We do pretty much know he's going to eventually live life his own way and fall in love with Lindsey the moment the film starts. But that's not really the problem if we follow the adage that goes: “It's not about the result, it's the process.”

Thandie Newton plays struggling mom Lindsey Wakefield

A good bunch of jokes and genuine moments along the way could have really helped the movie. But no, Perry's very ordinary screen presence killed almost all of it. Almost every scene with Perry, whether happy or sad has him with an extraordinarily stoic expression and him sighing at the end to signal just how torn he is between chasing his own dreams and not letting his family down.

It's not all that bad though, as Thandie Newton is compelling as Lindsey, the mom who gets evicted due to not being able to pay the rent. The subsequent struggle she goes through with her young daughter is genuinely heart-breaking and her despair can really be felt.

However, she plays it well enough such that she is still a strong, independent character who still has pride and doesn't regret her path in life despite the many tribulations. In fact, it might have made for a better main storyline than that of Wesley's.

Nevertheless, this lone bright spot isn't enough to save the movie, as the heavy melodrama weighs the movie down and takes the viewer nowhere in particular.

You won't be smiling to yourself much nor feel all that bad for Wesley as it isn't very funny nor tear-jerky enough.

‘Good Deeds’  instead feels like an overly preachy movie about rich people and their first world problems.

‘Good Deeds’ opens in theatres 28 June 2012

Dexian or just Dex if you have an inability to pronounce Chinese names, is a fervent film lover who's known to read up on the most inane pieces of cinema trivia just so he has something to talk about when he's drunk. When he's not watching something, he can be found reading other useless Wikipedia articles on things like Nebulaphobia.