Fatale Movie Review
There was a time when Hilary Swank was an in demand, Oscar-winning actress. In Fatale, she plays a psycho detective who stalks the married man who slept with her, and Glenn Close she is not.
Essentially Fatal Attraction only not nearly as frightening (for men, that is) and 30 years too late, Fatale is a disappointingly bland thriller. Neither sexy nor exciting, the movie takes a long while to pick up steam and, even when it does, barely emits enough heat to warm an outhouse.
Generic writing, direction and scoring aside, the cast does the film no favors. Thrillers like this can rise above themselves with the right performances and energy; director Deon Taylor’s previous effort, The Intruder, was no masterpiece, but it was powered by a balls-to-the-wall turn by Dennis Quaid and a strong protagonist in the form of Meagan Good. Michael Ealy, who also starred in The Intruder, just acts like he’s bored to death in Fatale; his performance leaves almost no imprint on your consciousness whatsoever. His character is unlikable, too.
But Swank is especially poorly cast as Detective Quinlan. Swank has never been known as a sex object, which is fine, but she doesn’t even attempt to emote the crazy. She isn’t good villain material (she was also a flatline in another 2020 film, the underwhelming and slightly controversial The Hunt) and doesn’t seem to understand that she’s in a movie that would highly benefit from an outrageous, batshit turn versus whatever she decided to do here.
The blame can’t all fall on Swank’s shoulders, however. Fatale presents a concept that has been done to death, and oftentimes better. And Taylor fails to tap into the same energy that powered The Intruder, giving us an unfortunately ho-hum experience that neither titillates nor tantalizes.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.