Have you ever had a reckless lapse in judgement that follows you whether you want it to or not? The type of judgement that may cause others to question your integrity and character? In Deon Taylor’s latest – Fatale, Derrick (Michael Ealy) and Detective Valarie Quinlan (Hillary Swank) have a chance meeting during a bachelor party outing proving that what happens in Vegas certainly doesn’t stay there. After an intense middle of the night home invasion, Derrick and his beautiful wife Traci (Damaris Lewis) are safe, but he becomes more than a little shook when the investigating Detective who shows up on the scene is none other than Quinlan. Yup, and that’s when things get real interesting. The nerves and unease are perfectly captured upon Derricks’s face as Quinlan takes a tour of the house. It’s like Fatal Attraction, but with black people!
Oooh I hated Hillary Swank – she was pure unadulterated evil which means she did her thang taking on a role I’ve never seen her inhabit – a bad girl with a badge. Swank makes Valarie brainy, sexy, strong and by no stretch of the imagination anyone’s victim. As a pawn in her plan to unite with her daughter, she attempts to ruin Derrick’s life, reputation and marriage.
Y’all know I love me some Michael Ealy and he doesn’t leave me hanging as Derrick. His most powerful scene is when his mother (Denise Dowse) reminds him a man’s name is a precious thing that should be honored and fought for. She didn’t emotionally or verbally beat him down, but spiritually lifted him up as only a loving mother would. In addition to salvaging the little bit of reputation he has left, Derrick also struggles with the ultimate betrayal coming from all vantage points. At the end of the day, judgement is the key phrase when talking about Fatale. Why are we so swift as a society to make individuals guilty before being armed with all the facts. Who is the real killer? The one who pulls the tigger or the one who desires someone dead?
Deon Taylor always got me screaming at the screen and this time, thanks to screenwriter David Loughery I howled at lines like describing Ealy with “Steph Curry Eyes and Jesus of Nazareth hair.” I love the creatively cinematic shot in the interrogation room making Val look like an apparition, which is hella cool and the use of songs like Keith Sweat’s ‘Make It Last Forever’ make certain scenes work.
Fatale starts out great, mid-way through it gets little muddled and weird, but I did love that nod to Fatal Attraction with the elevator scene and kitchen layout at Val’s place.
At the end of the day, it’s itchy, suspenseful fun. So grab some snacks, a cocktail and let Fatale entertain you within an inch of your life.