Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

{The Samaritan opens in Seattle on June 1 at The Grand Illusion Cinema; screening June 1-7 Friday, Monday-Thursday at 9pm, and on Saturday and Sunday at both 5pm and 9pm. Tickets are $8, or $5 for GI Members}

Remember when Samuel L. Jackson used to act? Wayyyy back before he became a motherf**kin’ parody of himself? I do, and I was hoping that The Samaritan would give him a chance to do it again … and it did, sort of.

Samuel’s character, Foley, is fresh out of prison from a 25-year stint for shooting his best friend (and grifting partner) in the head. He’s not out for very long (like, a day) before his dead partner’s son Ethan tries to pull him back into some bad stuff by offering him a partnership in a new Grift—the Samaritan—which will cheat a volatile mob boss (Tom Wilkinson, natch) out of 8 million dollars. Of course Foley declines, but then matters get complicated when love interest Iris enters the picture.

It’s your basic “guy trying to be a better man, but getting pulled back into the fray” story—with one really sick, dark twist that gets thrown in your face in the middle. And let me tell you, when that twist happened, I started PAYING SOME SERIOUS ATTENTION.

The movie then had a bunch of interesting directions it could have gone, but unfortunately it relies on a few lame resolutions, followed by an unsatisfying and ridiculous ending.

That said, it’s still pretty entertaining, and while Jackson's performance is more subdued than usual here, you still get to see him kick some ass (duh) while he’s emoting the hell out of his eyebrows, so if that’s worth $8 to you, I say go for it.