Stefan Rick’s dynamic and really intense “Good Neighbor” is a familiar thriller genre. Based on the premise alone, it’s easy to see how the plot will unfold, even when you actually start watching the movie. However, oddly enough, this does not reduce the stress that Rick steadily accumulates during execution too much. This is not a film that opens up new horizons, but there is something to be said about the pleasure that traveling on the beaten path can bring, even if there are some drawbacks to this journey. “The Good Neighbor” struggles with convenient plot twists and inconsistent characterizations, but still remains an exciting game thanks to its menacing leadership.
American journalist David Stevens (Luke Kleintank) recently moved to Riga, Latvia, for a brilliant new job. What at first seems like a great opportunity to get away from the grievances of the past, one night takes a nightmarish turn when he walks with his charismatic neighbor Robert (Jonathan Rhys Myers). Heading home after meeting a beautiful woman at a club, David hits the same woman with his car, killing her. David and Robert try to keep the tragedy a secret, which becomes very difficult when the woman’s sister Vanessa (Eloise Smith) starts looking for answers. As David gets closer to Vanessa, the dark side of Robert is revealed, who is trying to maintain his power over David.
Luke Kleintank and Eloise Smith in “The Good Neighbor”
Thrillers live or die depending on their pace, and the “Good Neighbor” deftly moves forward at a fairly stable pace. Rick co-wrote the screenplay with Ross Partridge (which was based on the original screenplay by Rick and Cilia Clemens). type of speed. David has just begun to establish a happy life in Riga when a random murder occurs, and although it is clear that something will go wrong, the sudden shock of David’s brief flirtation with death strikes with the right force. However, there are some elements in the murder that, upon closer examination, seem too convenient; For example, Robert, who works as a visiting nurse, has a client who lives near the crash site, which allows him to take a fresh look at the investigation.
Another aspect in which the “Good Neighbor” struggles is David himself. To his credit, Kleintank plays David’s changing behavior well, but it’s hard to tell if the film wants the audience to sympathize with him, or is looking forward to his misdeeds catching up with him. Immediately after the accident, David is tormented by guilt. A natural reaction to someone’s murder, of course, but then he contacts Vanessa. Rick seems to be aware of the bleakness of such a relationship, but there is a romanticized feeling that covers David and Vanessa’s later interactions, as if the audience should be rooting for them no matter what. Rick and Partridge don’t show David struggling with whether he’s doing the right thing. In fact, his guilt seems to subside for a while, which is why a later moment when he remembers the murder, he feels drawn in only to restore his insecurity. Considering that Vanessa herself seems to be wavering in her characterization at the end of “The Good Neighbor,” the way this whole thing is done seems like an oversight.
Jonathan Rhys Myers in the TV series “The Good Neighbor”
If there is an MVP of the “Good Neighbor”, then it is certainly Meyers. Portraying both charm and danger, Meyers turns into an irresistible villain. Rick plays to Meyers’ strengths, allowing the camera to focus on him in moments that might seem harmless with anyone else. From the moment he is introduced, it becomes clear that Robert has hidden depths. And although the “Good Neighbor” does not delve into them completely, Meyers brings them to the surface through his physical form and behavior. As another key component of the story, Smith evokes sympathy for Vanessa, a determined sister stunned by sudden death. She looks aggressive, although the “Good Neighbor” is more interested in the confusing dynamics of the relationship between David and Robert. Of course, these uneasy relationships are deeply intriguing and fuel much of the urgency of the film.
Ultimately, the “Good Neighbor” does exactly what it is intended for: this is a fascinating thriller, in the center of which there is at least one very interesting character, which makes the viewing unforgettable. If there’s one thing the audience will remember, it’s Meyers’ chilling performance. “Good Neighbor” is likely to appeal to anyone who wants a bit of old-fashioned suspense. Although there are flaws in it, they are easy to overlook if a person is passionate enough.