Home Art & Culture ‘Fatale’ Review: Another Attraction of the Fatal Kind

‘Fatale’ Review: Another Attraction of the Fatal Kind

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For someone as successful as he is — a sports agent who built his own company from the ground up — Derrick (Michael Ealy) is a tense fellow. He brings his furrowed brow with him on a trip from L.A. to Vegas, taking a break from, among other things, his troubled marriage.

After a pal confiscates Derrick’s wedding ring, he’s at the bar tentatively chatting up the alluring Val (Hilary Swank). One thing leads to, well, sex. The next morning he’s taken aback that she’s locked his cellphone in her room safe, but stimulated when she tells him how to get the combination code out of her.

Back home, he and wife Tracy have a rapprochement. Their tender makeup is interrupted by a violent home invasion. The injured Derrick is again taken aback on meeting the detective investigating the case: One Valerie Quinlan, “Val” to her friends.

Directed by Deon Taylor from a script by David Loughery, “Fatale” knows what you’re thinking by this point, and it obliges by including some direct hat tips to “Fatal Attraction,” among them a kitchen counter sex scene. But Val, who’s also embroiled in a nasty custody conflict with an ex, has a lot more than bunny-boiling in store for Derrick.

While this latter-day noir never builds up the froth of lurid delirium that brings genre pictures into a headier dimension, it’s got enough juice to hold your attention. Swank, who is also one of the movie’s producers, does good work here, keeping Val credible even as she enacts jaw-dropping evils.

The film eventually shows the influence of another famous thriller to handy effect. Though finally this is just a movie about a man who takes a too-long time to discover the Voice Memos app on his phone.

Rated R for all of that “Fatal Attraction”-type content. Running time: 1 hour 42 minutes. In theaters. Please consult the guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before watching movies inside theaters.

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