Good People (2014)

(On Cable TV, July 2015) Everyone’s got to pay their bills, which is how I explain seeing James Franco, Kate Hudson and the omnipresent Tom Wilkinson in this fairly standard thriller in which money is the root of all problems.  Good People gets going when a cash-strapped couple finds a bag of money in their dead tenant’s apartment –such an amount is seldom legal, and before long the true owners of the money come calling back.  Stuck between an overly-interested policeman and warring criminal gangs, our sympathetic expatriate couple gets the chance to run, fight and set up traps in a dilapidated house.  The building blocks of the story are simple, but executed fairly and the result is the kind of thriller that can be watched without too much involvement.  There isn’t much for Franco and Hudson to play with: they’re meant to be a likable couple stuck in a nightmare, and their restrained performance reflects exactly that.  It doesn’t help that the film is shot in a dark and blue-tinted mode, rain never being far away even when it’s sunny.  Predictable and by-the-numbers, this is a straight-to-video 80-minutes entertainment for those who have seen just about everything else playing.  Good People is not bad, although it could have been a lot more fun.

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