Quickie Review: Fatale

When a Hilary Swank movie (Million Dollar Baby, Conviction, Boys Don’t Cry) rolls out this time of year, you’re inclined to think – Oscar bait? I know I did – without knowing anything about Fatale. Lesson learned. Timing isn’t everything – especially during a pandemic. The only award Fatale should be up for is a Razzie, for trying soooo hard to be Fatal Attraction. The performances are solid – elevated by Swank’s presence – but Fatale itself is purely middle of the road material. It’s a psychological thriller/murder mystery that relies heavily on its melodramatic score to intensify the convoluted stakes. It also attempts to pull racial injustice into the mix, though that message too gets lost in the muddled plot.

Here’s the gist: A highly successful businessman named Derrick (Michael Ealy) has a one-night stand in Vegas that he immediately regrets because he’s hoping to salvage his strained marriage. He aims to put the indiscretion behind him, but the woman he had the fling with turns out to be a rather deranged LA Detective named Valerie Quinlan (Swank) who starts messin’ with his head and gets him embroiled in a murder investigation. That’s all I’ll say about the plot because further divulgences could spoil the ride for those who choose to get on.

There’s no way anyone should venture into a theater right now to see Fatale, but if desperate for a fatale distraction in the new year, Fatale will be available via Premium Video on Demand on January 8, 2021.

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