When Derrick (Michael Ealy) and Rafe (Mike Colter, TV's 'Evil') get together with their wives to celebrate the success of their joint business, Derrick’s wife Traci (Damaris Lewis, TV's 'Pose') pushes back a bit. There is strain after Derrick’s spent so much time away and now Traci’s begun to do the same, having forged her own career in the interim. Derrick offers to blow off a trip to Vegas with his buds, but Traci fails to take him up on it. As he ponders whether his wife might be having an affair, removed from his friends in a Vegas hot spot, Derrick strikes up a conversation with an attractive stranger that leads to the dance floor and then her hotel room. Shamed by his own infidelity, Derrick begins to woo his wife back home, but what happened in Vegas comes back to haunt him in “Fatale.”
Laura's Review: C
"The Intruder" team of director Deon Taylor and writer David Loughery are back with another cheesy thriller starring Michael Ealy and an award winning star, this time two-time Oscar winner Hillary Swank (“The Hunt”), slumming and having a ball doing so for the second time in 2020. The filmmaking here is subpar, featuring some howlingly bad dialogue (which Swank often still sells), a schizophrenic score and a muddled sound mix even Christopher Nolan wouldn’t love, but Loughery’s mixed in entertaining twists that help alleviate the more contrived aspects of his tale. “Fatale” isn’t a good film but Swank makes it a watchable one.
She’s an expert luring in her prey, her Val dismissing an obvious come on before confiding in Derrick, or Daron as he introduces himself, at the bar. Watch as she manipulates, escalating a look across the room into a conversation onto the dance floor and finally into hot sex. One thing Loughery does right is really pin Derrick to the wall by making him repeat his infidelity in the cold light of day. As he readies to make his exit, he cannot find his phone. Val informs him she put it in her hotel safe so he wouldn’t give her the slip. And she’s going to make him ‘pay’ for the combination.
Back in Seattle, Traci arrives home to find Derrick in the middle of preparing a romantic dinner. He soon has her charmed and the Vegas combination of dance floor into bedroom is repeated albeit with a more romantic tone. But then Traci hears a noise and it’s clear there is someone in their home. Derrick is attacked by a masked stranger. When the police are called later, in walks the detective in charge of the case - Valerie Quinlan (Swank) – and she takes great pleasure in making Derrick squirm.
Taylor makes his build in fits and starts, the introduction of Derrick’s cousin Tyrin (Tyrin Turner) overly emphasized for no other reason than his later importance in third act plotting. The film is entirely driven by plot, rather than character, reflected in acting choices which don’t always add up. Ealy, looking older here for the first time, is relegated to reacting, the fly to Swank’s spider. The actress has made a couple of odd choices in her 2020 roles, but she can confidently add villain and femme “Fatale” to her list of accomplishments.
"Fatale is in theaters" and will be releasing on PPV on 1/8/2021.