I want to go back because I didn’t do a trailer review for this movie. So watch the trailer first and then I’ll give you my thoughts.
So the movie starts with this ominous voiceover from Michael Ealy’s character, Derrick, which made it seem like the movie was going to be crazier than it was. Here’s my first side note. In the movie trailer, they play “All My Life” by K-Ci and JoJo but in the movie the song is “Make it Last Forever” by Keith Sweat, which is becoming a trend for some reason. Why introduce me to a song that will NOT be in the movie? What’s the point? The first time I realized this was in Fatal Affair, which we will talk about soon. But back to the movie.
I watched this movie with two friends of mine who happen to be a couple, and one of those friends called the affair within five minutes of watching this movie, which is not good in my book. The point of a twist is that I don’t see it coming. If I can spot the “twist” before it’s revealed as a twist, then that should not be considered a twist. Surprisingly, there weren’t many other twists that we were able to figure out until they revealed them to us but the greater plot of the movie was a bit muddled for me. Here’s why.
Hilary Swank’s character, Valerie or Val, meets a tired, worried and stressed out Derrick (who we’ve already established is Michael Ealy) at a club in Vegas. He at a bachelor party with his friend and business partner, Rafe (Michael Colter), and she just blowing off some steam. Of course, they have an overnight rendezvous which astonishingly, leads to nothing. I was waiting for an obsessed moment where she called his phone or found him at work and just popped up but nothing. Also, if I backtrack some, no one should have a friend like Rafe. Rafe told this man, who is worried about his wife possibly having an affair but has no evidence, to take his wedding band off and be single for the night. On top of what we’ll discuss about Rafe and Tracie later, he is not a friend you should have in your life as a married man or a man in general…but I digress.
It’s not until someone breaks into their house that Derrick sees Val again. She’s a detective and has been assigned to this case but everything isn’t what it seems. Going back to my friend who had figured out about the affair, it was painfully obvious that the wife was in on it somehow because she didn’t bother calling the police and instead just came upstairs to see what all the gunshots were about.
Here’s what grinded our gears, and mind you, we watched the day after we watched Tyler Perry’s A Fall from Grace which left us with a lot of questions. Instead of Val being obsessed with Derrick, she decided to help him for his own good. Your best friend and your wife are basically planning to kill you for your fortune and you should do something about it soon. Here’s what didn’t make sense. Val is trying to get custody of her daughter Haley after losing custody because of an incident involving Val’s gun being fired by her daughter while Val was passed out drunk next to her. Her ex-husband is a local politician who is good-looking and loved by the community and his constituents, something he reminds Val of often. Now, follow me here because this is what the movie wants us to believe is Val’s game plan. They want us to believe that Val shot Tracie and Rafe to frame Derrick so she could coerce him into killing her ex-husband so she would be granted full custody of Haley. Now, as a person that is a logical thinker, does that make sense to you as a viewer? I see some head shakes to indicate a “no” and you would be right. I’m convinced that this plan of hers is how we were supposed to conclude that she was crazy because if she thought this would’ve worked she would have to be crazy.
First, Haley’s father dying does not immediately grant you full custody of the kid. The court has the records too, lady. They know why you don’t have full custody and we’ve seen in many cases the hoops parents have to jump through to regain full custody, or even partial custody, of their kids. Somehow, you just thought the court would be like, “Father’s dead and the next in line is the mother who was passed out drunk while the minor fired an armed weapon. Let’s award her custody. She should be fine now.” NO! Not how that works even if movie has to movie!
Second, the plot is full convenience and it bothers me. You just so happen to meet a guy in Vegas, have sex with him and later find out that his wife and best friend are having an affair and that, strangely, fits right into your plan to kill your husband?
You decided to give him the idea to kill his wife and best friend but when he didn’t do it, you decided to. AND THEN, you wanted to frame his cousin for the murders? Ma’am!
Side note: Shouts out to casting director for casting Tyrin Turner and Geoffrey Owen. It felt good to see Tyrin in a film and I liked his character. He was a bright spot in the movie because I was always wondering what his motive was. Did I need to watch him? Why did they introduce us to him? They had to do that for a reason so what was it? He was a red herring and he was just a cousin who loved his family, wanted the best for his cousin and would do anything to preserve his future. I understood that and I enjoyed having him as a red herring.
However, the rest of this movie just didn’t make sense like I wanted it to. I felt like there were great elements in the movie that was mixed with other elements that were completely off and overshadowed the good parts. Like I saw it going somewhere, and in the time I saw it going well, it fell off a cliff.
THEN, they had the nerve to give this man common sense in the last ten minutes of the movie but what did it matter then because he was half dead and Val was dying. It had one of those ambiguous ending I hate that are usually a thing in independent films. I hate those ending, and much like my friend said, it seemed like the movie wasn’t finished because the ending didn’t seem final. And not the type of final like there could be a sequel but final like someone didn’t know how to end the movie final.
Fatale is streaming on Amazon Prime and can be rented for under $5 or you could go to the theater, if you dare. Take a friend. Talk to the screen. See if he listens to you because I was talking to Derrick through the TV and he did not listen.