Fatale

Hilary Swank and Michael Daly star in 'Fatale.'

A guy (wildly handsome actor Michael Ealy) is having problems with his marriage. His wife (played by Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model and actress Damaris Lewis) may be cheating on him. So, he makes exactly the wrong move; he cheats on his wife. It makes you wonder. Ealy and Lewis are among the most attractive people on the planet. Do they think that they will find another life partner better looking than the one they currently have? Humans do the strangest things.

It gives the movie goer a nasty sense of claustrophobia as we watch the husband getting wrapped more tightly and then more tightly again in the plans and schemes of the “Fatale.” A simple enough error in judgment, a lapse of morality, a violation of his sacred marriage vows, lead to another error and more. At each step along the way the “Fatale” aids, abets and guides his lapses and violations until he just has no way to find redemption. The errors and lapses happen all too often in real life, but here we see savage consequences.

Watching double Oscar winner Hilary Swank play a fem “Fatale” is reason enough to see this movie. A fem fatale in French tradition refers to a woman of irresistible attraction who ultimately creates irredeemable problems for her partners. Or death.

The film genre originated with the 1915 silent film “A Fool There Was” staring Theda Bara. Bara is referred to in the film as a ‘vampire’ in a metaphorical way, a woman who drains and destroys men. This movie gave us the word ‘vamp’ as an alluring but dangerous woman, a term perhaps more common in the roaring twenties than now. More recent films of this nature include “To Die For” with Nicole Kidman, the terrifying “Gone Girl” staring Rosamund Pike and the now-classic “Basic Instinct” featuring Sharon Stone.

Director Dean Taylor’s films have not yet reached a mass audience, but he went to my old school San Diego State, so I wish him well. Writer David Loughery is an old Hollywood pro with scripts for “Star Trek V” and “Lakeview Terrace” among his writing credits.

The entirely watchable “Fatale” runs for one hour and forty-two minutes. This film has an R rating, so not for the young folk. This enjoyable if forgettable three saw blade movie best pleases us for Hilary Swank’s acting.

Fun fact: In 2019 writer David Loughery, director Deon Taylor and star Ealy made “The Intruder,” another movie thriller.

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