Back in the 1990s and early 2000s Hollywood went through a phase where it loved to mix ‘sex-up’ it’s crime thrillers. The result was classic films like Basic Instinct and of course every teenage boy’s dream – Wild Things. Of course though like all Hollywood phase for every sexy crime thriller that hit its mark there were another twenty that fell from the way-side… and you can find most of those ones in the DVD section of The Reject Shop these days.
To me, director Deon Taylor’s (Black And Blue) feels like a throwback to those films. The film centres around the seductive Detective Val Quinlan (Hilary Swank – Boys Don’t Cry) who ends up in bed with Derrick Tyler (Michael Ealy – Think Like A Man) when the two’s paths cross in the city of sin – Las Vegas.
What Derrick doesn’t tell Val is that he is married and she only finds that out about him when she is called out to the scene of an attempted murder that just happens to happen at the house of Derrick and his wife Tracie (Damaris Lewis – The Rewrite). The high-rolling Derrick is stunned that somebody has tried to murder him and he is beyond nervous of that fact that Val is now in contact with his wife.
The worst enemy of this film is its trailer. I’ll admit that I enjoyed Fatale as a film but having seen the trailer before I saw the film I had some of my experience spoilt by the fact that I already knew too much of what was going to happen. Deon Taylor and screenwriter David Loughery (Lakeview Terrace) have created a good crime thriller with all the right twists and turns to keep their audience guessing but sadly some of those reveals have already been revealed in the trailer.
Still as far as crime thrillers go Fatale does work pretty well. There is enough suspense to make you wonder about nearly every character that is in Derrick’s life while cinematographer Dante Spinotti (Heat) captures some wonderful shots of the opulent house (and its views) that a majority of the film was shot in.
What I also enjoyed about Fatale was the performances of its leads. Hilary Swank looked like she was having a hell of a fun time playing the dangerous vixen while Michael Ealy takes a huge step forward in his career with a performance that more than shows that he was ready to take over the leading man status on a film.
Fatale is a guilty pleasure film. It is the kind of film that I found myself enjoying while I was watching but it is one of those films where people are going to give you a funny look when you admit to liking it. It has suspense, some great twists and turns but I would seriously consider avoiding the trailer before you head into the cinema to watch it.