That would be Fatale as in femme fatale, which translated from the French means “deadly woman.” It is an archetype figure from literature signifying an attractive and seductive but ultimately dangerous woman. Usually that meant in films, especially in the film noir genre, that the ‘broad’ was a gun moll, or temptress or schemer will an evil intent. Is that the case for Hilary Swank’s Valerie Quinlan? After all, she is a LA police detective. You’ll have to watch FATALE to find if that moniker is apropos. It debuts SATURDAY, JUNE 19 at 8:00pm on HBO.
Swank is that leading lady, but her story isn’t the one viewers will follow. That falls on Michael Ealy as Derrick Tyler as we now set up a bit of a plot: Derrick Tyler is a former college basketball star who has gone on to build a successful sports management agency in Los Angeles with his best friend Rafe Grimes (played by Mike Colter, best known as Marvel’s Luke Cage). His marriage to Tracie (played by model Demaris Lewis), a real estate agent, is failing, and he suspects she is having an affair. Rafe is also pressuring him to sell the company to a larger corporation, which Derrick, valuing his independence, refuses to do.
During a business trip to Las Vegas, Rafe encourages Derrick to vent his frustrations by having a fling of his own. Removing his wedding ring and introducing himself as Darren from Seattle, he catches the attention of a woman at a bar and a tryst is in the making. Returning to LA, a guilty Derrick reconciles with his wife. When the couple later proves to be victims of a home burglary, The police arrive and the detective assigned to the case, Valerie Quinlan, is revealed to be the woman from Las Vegas. Da, Da Dum! The situation gets prickly and a lot goes down that we can’t spoil here. That’s right, watch the movie.
It was shot in late 2018 and debuted in December 2020 to limited theaters under the direction of Deon Taylor, from a screenplay by David Loughery. Rotten Tomatoes weighed in with the following:
Seek it out for yourselves if you are starved for a new movie this weekend. Find it on HBO and HBO Max.
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