A "not quite" remake of the legendary thriller, "Fatal Attraction," the new film "Fatale" starring Hilary Swank and Michael Ealy never rises above generic-level genre tropes, despite its twisty premise.
Derrick (Ealy) is a successful sports agent, married to his beautiful wife, Tracy (Demaris Lewis) and living life in a lavish, luxurious home. Tracy's been acting strange lately, so a tentative Derrick leaves her on a trip to Vegas for a bachelor party, along with his business partner, Rafe (Mike Colter). As men tend to do in the movies, Derrick meets a beautiful woman at a club (Swank) and they...well, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
But back home after the trip, Derrick's home is invaded one night and he fends off a vicious attack. As police are on the scene and they try to make sense of the attempted murder and break-in, it's revealed that Swank is actually a Detective and - what a coincidence! - she has been assigned to Derrick's case.
While the similarities to other films (like "Fatal Attraction") come to mind, this is partially by design. "Fatale" does effectively set the viewer up to think the movie is one thing, before pulling the rug out from underneath to reveal a different path entirely. The only problem is, these plot turns are not enough to save the under-cooked characters, the cheesy dialogue between them and the overall ludicrousness of the film's entirety.
For starters, Derrick is not exactly a character worth rooting for. He suspects his wife is cheating, so he has a one-night stand, nearly against his will. He doesn't quite show to possess any redeeming qualities and he continues to make bad choices throughout the movie. Ealy is a capable actor, and he gives the part what it deserves, but his role is mostly reactive and he never quite propels the story along himself.
Swank on the other hand is interesting, in that we've rarely seen her play a seductress of this type. But even her character is a bit to pointed of a villain, a bit too "on the nose," and a character who only exists in the movies.
"Fatale" has one too many contrivances, one too many convenient plot twists, that by the end none of it seems especially worthy of the trip. It might be passable for the genre, but it doesn't stand out as anything more than just another forgettable femme fatale film...one that is too stupid to qualify as "stupid fun."
Run Time: 1 hour 42 minutes.
Starring: Hilary Swank, Michael Ealy, Mike Colter, Kali Hawk, Demaris Lewis.
Directed by Deon Taylor ("Black & Blue," "The Intruder," "Meet the Blacks").
"Fatale" is available on VOD on Friday, January 8th, 2021.
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