Good People, film review: Far-fetched thriller requires a fairly sizeable suspension of disbelief

(15) Henrik Ruben Genz, 88 mins. Starring: James Franco, Kate Hudson, Tom Wilkinson
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The Independent Culture

It takes a fairly sizeable suspension of disbelief to accept James Franco as an impoverished east London-based property developer, struggling to pay off his mortgage, and Kate Hudson as his loyal and slightly dowdy wife, who works as a schoolteacher at the local comp. They're the "good people" who rub up against some very bad ones when they get hold of some stolen money in Genz's increasingly far-fetched and ridiculous thriller. It just so happens that their lodger, lying dead in the basement, is/was a gangster who double-crossed his Kray twin-like colleague, Witkowski (a permanently scowling Sam Spruell).

They, in turn, have double-crossed the sleek French hoodlum and drug dealer Khan (Omar Sy), who likes to think of himself as a latter-day Genghis Khan. The upshot is that Tom and Anna (Franco and Hudson) are chased by two competing sets of baddies, each equally vicious. To thicken the baloney soup yet further, they are also being used as bait by a manic depressive detective (Tom Wilkinson), who blames Witkowski for his daughter's death. Hudson makes a fatal mis-step by splashing out and buying her friend (Anna Friel) a new washing machine with the stolen cash.

The filmmakers use slick editing and pounding music in a desperate bid to paper over the cracks in their own storyline. When they realise it is too late to hide the damage, they simply throw in a finale in which everyone kills everyone else.