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Fatale is a Fatal Attraction with a Twist

At first glance, the new movie Fatale, from the independent film production company Hidden Empire Film Group, looks a lot like the 1987 hit film Fatal Attraction, starring Michael Douglas and Glenn Close. But, keep watching because this movie has some surprises in store.

In Fatale, Michael Ealy stars as Derrick, a successful sports agent, who has a one night stand in Las Vegas. At least, that's what he thinks it is. But, little does he know that Val, the woman he gets involved with, has other plans. Val, portrayed by Academy Award-winning actress Hilary Swank, is a police detective who's called in to investigate a break-in at the posh Los Angeles home Derrick shares with his wife, Tracie. Imagine Derrick's surprise when Val walks in with word that she's handling the investigation!

When Derrick returned home to L.A., he thought that what happened in Vegas, stayed in Vegas, but boy was he wrong! Val has decided that since he used her, she's going to use him. And, that's putting it mildly. With that investigation into the break-in keeping the two of them tied closely together, they also become embroiled in a high-stakes game of cat and mouse, with Derrick seemingly in way over his head. Val is more than a little ticked off that Derrick wants to put their relationship behind him and repair a strained relationship with his wife. She knows that Derrick wants to keep his indiscretion a secret, which is something she cleverly uses against him.

Val is a force to be reckoned with. She transforms from sweet and charming one moment to cruel and conniving the next. But, even after Derrick has seen, more than once, that she's nothing like he thought she was, he gets drawn back in, which only makes his situation worse. Definitely something to think about by anyone contemplating having an affair.

Deon Taylor, who directed Fatale, says he wanted Hilary Swank for the role of Val because of all the dimensions he knew that she could bring to the character. Not that there was ever any doubt, but as it turns out, she was the perfect choice. Swank is one of Hollywood's most gifted and talented actors. In her hands, she brought all of the different layers of her character to the forefront, giving viewers reasons to empathize with her -- or sympathize for her -- despite her twisted motives.

As for Ealy, he too, is a master of his craft. He's so adept at roles requiring him to be vulnerable without being a pushover. The coolness and sophistication that he brings to many of the roles he's taken on -- in addition to those chiseled good looks -- have made him one of Hollywood's most sought after Black actors.

With Swank and Ealy starring and Taylor at the helm, Fatale has a lot going for it. However, there are a couple of things -- albeit small -- that I wish could have been changed to make it even better.

Without giving anything away, I saw what was coming with Derrick's cousin long before it happened. So, that was predictable. Having the two come up with a plot that would have turned the tables on Val would have been a "wow" moment that definitely would have had people talking well after the credits rolled. I also would have liked to see a more creative and unique ending.

Fatale is playing in theaters and drive-ins now. In the Metro Detroit area, you can see it at the Ford-Wyoming Drive-in located in Dearborn. It'll be available on premium video on demand on January 8th.

Be sure to tune in to WWJ Newsradio 950 every Friday for my weekly look at the movies.

You can also listen to my podcast 'Terri Talks Movies' by clicking here.

Follow Terri on Twitter @TerriJLee


Critics Choice Association

African American Film Critics Association

National Association of Black Journalists


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