Saturday, February 27, 2021

Movie with Abe: Fatale

Directed by Deon Taylor
Released December 18, 2020

Power can invite corruption. It’s not an inevitability, but the pull often emerges to utilize authority and means to be able to usurp and exert even more control over others than might already exist. Checks and balances put in place aren’t always effective, especially when deference is given to the judgment of someone making questionable or alarming choices. Cinema tends to add even more ability and immeasurable means to characters in their quest for domination, giving them all too much intelligence and time to exact their devious plans in an almost omniscient manner. That missing logic detracts considerably from this all-too-familiar and lackluster thriller.

Derrick Tyler (Michael Ealy) travels to Las Vegas for work and spends the night with a woman he meets at a bar. When he returns to the lavish, expensive home he shares with his wife, Tracie (Damaris Lewis), he is startled by an attempted home invasion. Even more surprising is the arrival of that same woman, who introduces herself as Detective Val Quinlan (Hilary Swank), who just happens to be investigating their case. As Derrick becomes more unnerved by his own security, he realizes that Val is intent on turning a one-night stand into something much more serious, and she isn’t going to let the fact that he is married stand in the way.

This premise feels like it has been explored many times before, though it’s not always with a successful Black businessman and a lonely white female cop going through her own bitter divorce. Those modifications don’t make it any more interesting, and the scenes in Derrick’s home feel gratuitous since he lives with so much excess that this film just doesn’t possess. Instead, it takes every opportunity to cast a broad net with thin and uncreative plotting that makes its story less than engaging. Derrick isn’t particularly sympathetic as a character, while Val has demons that make her situation moderately understandable, even if she seems problematically out of touch with reality.

Ealy and Swank are both strong actors who have turned in great performances throughout their careers. Unfortunately, these don’t count among those, in part because the material they’re given is unsophisticated but also because they don’t seem to be applying themselves all that much, nor is Swank a particularly logical fit for her role. This follow-up to director Deon Taylor’s last film, “Black and Blue,” is a meager improvement in terms of quality but contains too little believable content to be involving or worthwhile.


1 comment:

GiaRossi said...

In preda al panico, a una persona sembra che tutti i riflettori siano puntati su di lui e che il mondo intero viva solo per trovarlo. Come nei film...