A pulpy, but immensely fun, thriller.
Derrick Tyler’s (Michael Ealy) marriage is on the rocks. But after a one night stand in Vegas, he returns home with a desire to make it work. Curled up in bed with his wife Tracie (Damaris Lewis), it seems like things might be on the mend. That is, until a home invasion gone wrong drags the cops into his home, and the detective leading his case is none other than Detective Val Quinlan (Hilary Swank) - the woman he had that affair with in Las Vegas. Now, as they try and work out who robbed him, Derrick must contend with the fact that the Detective might not be all she seems.
Fatale has a bit of a Fifty Shades of Grey feeling about it. The gorgeous, minimalist house; the fancy cars; the expensive suits; the sheen of the shots that never seem interested in convincing you this is reality. Everything is designed to look good on a poster.
The script is barely there. With some of the most cringe-worthy dialogue of the year, Fatale has no trouble coming across as B-movie schlock. Sometimes this is painful to listen to (largely whenever anyone other than Hilary Swank is delivering it), but for the most part this, much like the plot itself, and the visuals, glosses by on a wave of incredulity.
Perhaps the closest comparator to Fatale is the Russell Crowe starrer Unhinged. Both have a huge Hollywood name anchoring a movie filled with mostly up and comers, both have those stars taking a bit of a villainous turn, and both feel borderline ridiculous. The other similarity they both have? They’re a hell of a lot of fun.
Fatale isn’t a great film by any stretch of the imagination. But it sucks you in with Swank’s scenery-chewing performance, a plot that veers left and right at the most unpredictable of moments, and a visual language that makes you bask in the luxuriousness of it all. It’s a sexy, ridiculous thriller that ends with a bang (indeed, starts with one too), and you’ll be hard pressed to not enjoy yourself watching it.
Fatale is a little bit ridiculous, but a lot of fun.