Fatale is from the filmmaker Deon Taylor, who clearly has a type, thrillers.
His previous work includes titles such as ‘Traffik,’ ‘Supremacy,’ and ‘Dead Zone.’ With this script by David Loughery, the writer of ‘Passenger 57,’ ‘Lakeview Terrace,’ and ‘The Intruder,’ (which Taylor also directed), he demonstrates he’s definitely in his zone. With ‘Fatale,’ you feel a ‘Fatal Attraction’ type story coming from practically the opening scene. I’m not giving anything away, but you won’t be disappointed if you like that type of thriller. As in so many of this genre to come before it, Taylor handles the script with ease, giving his audience an alluring look into the consequences of being naughty.
Here, a relatively young, successful, and handsome African American sports agent named Derrick. Derrick is played by Michael Ealy from the aforementioned ‘The Intruder.’ He gets all tangled up when he wrongly assumes he’s too good to be played by anyone.
While on a trip to Vegas, away from his beautiful but recently icy wife Traci, Damaris Lewis from ‘BlacKkKlansman,’ Derrick decides he’s going to have a little fun with the sexy yet safe enough white woman he meets at a club. That woman is Valerie Quinlan, played by Academy Award®-Winner Hilary Swank. They have chemistry on the dance floor, and he thinks it wise enough to take it to the next level. It’s only for one night, after all. She calls him her ‘great escape.’ Interest in whether this move was a good idea or not grows inside him as the next morning, he encounters a woman who isn’t exactly as straight as she seemed the evening before. Luckily, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, and he’ll never see her again. He feels a bit guilty, but he has been feeling that Traci just may be doing the same thing he just did. Maybe this will be a new beginning now that he may have just evened the score.
Soon after, and in the middle of the night, a prowler breaks into Derrick and Traci’s home. Derrick is able to fight the intruder off and scream for his wife to call 911. The police get there and are followed quickly by, who should it be, nonother than Detective… Valerie Quinlan. Uh-oh! The two recognize one another immediately. In an excellent, entertaining scene, she says certain things that alarm you, and Derrick, of course. After she realizes who he is and where he lives, she has peculiar behaviors in her personality, which leads you to believe Derrick just may have a femme fatale on his hands. And she’s a cop! Not good. The tension between them builds and intensifies as she questions Derrick and Traci, even beyond her business. This doesn’t go unnoticed.
Derrick has to talk to someone and goes to his business partner Rafe, Mike Colter of ‘Girls Trip,’ about his issue. He tells Rafe, ‘I think she gets a kick out of making me sweat,’ if that tells you anything. From here on out, several twists are introduced with as many characters. The Detective offers bait on occasion to have excuses to see Derrick, but has problems of her own she should focus on with such intensity. I’ll leave you to discover what those issues are, as what I’ve mentioned should have you intrigued enough to see this.
Yes, this is a story that has been done before, but it’s Swank and Ealy! They’re fantastic in all their scenes but outstanding when they’re working together. The ending is purely provocative, and on occasion, you’re riveted, mostly by a smart man’s lack of foresight, but never can you question a woman’s ability to astonish. Though done before, watching ‘Fatale’ feels fresh enough because of the cast and a few modifications here and there. I promise those alterations to make it worth the time you’ll put in, will please, but that said, it may be better for a watch on cable rather than paying full price at the theater.
Director: Deon Taylor
Writers: David Loughery
Stars: Hilary Swank, Michael Ealy, Mike Colter and Damaris Lewis