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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jul 13, 2021



‘FATALE’ is a sexy thriller now streaming in Upstream.ph starring Hilary Swank, who has won the Oscar best actress award twice, for “Boys Don’t Cry” and “Million Dollar Baby”. 

She’s very adventurous in the roles she plays. She just did a sleazy character in the action-thriller, “The Hunt”, and she’s now playing another shady role in “Fatale”. Mind you, she does it so well.

The male lead is Michael Ealy as Derrick, who is seemingly happily married to his seductive wife, Traci (Damaris Lewis). 

The truth is their marriage is strained because Michael spends so much time in his work as an agent and now, Traci herself has also cultivated her own career. 

Derrick is willing to forego a trip to Las Vegas just to spend time with his wife, but Traci insists that he should go. 

While in Vegas, Derrick meets an alluring stranger, Valerie (Hilary Swank), and they end up in bed for the obligatory steamy sex scenes. 

He probably thought the saying “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” is true, but will he be in for a big surprise.

Feeling guilty that he was unfaithful, Derrick becomes extra attentive to his wife when they are reunited at their lavish home in Seattle. 

He prepares a sumptuous romantic dinner for Traci that ends up in their bedroom. But Traci hears an intruder who is able to get inside their home and when Derrick investigates, he is attacked by a masked man.

They call the police to investigate and when the cops arrive, Derrick is surprised that the detective in charge is Valerie herself, with whom he had a one-night stand in Vegas. 

He certainly feels so uncomfortable, but it turns out that it’s just the start of the plot turns getting crazier and twistier. 

It seems Valerie has big personal problems of her own with her estranged politician husband, Carter (Danny Pino), who has put a restraining order on her. 

Michael discovers, with Valerie’s help, that his wife is also cheating on him, with the help of his own best friend, Rafe (Mike Colter). 

The movie is so plot driven and so fast paced you would not have any time to get bored. 

Valerie turns out to be a scheming spider spinning a deadly web for her own ulterior motives and Michael is the unsuspecting insect who gets caught and is trapped in it. 

Hilary is obviously having fun playing her villain role, slumming it as she lures her prey and manipulates her victim. 

She has made some odd choices in her recent acting roles, just like in the TV series, “Away”, which was quickly cancelled. 

But she can now confidently add menacing “femme fatale” to her list of adequate performances. 

She certainly knows how to embrace the cheap exploitative elements in the material and redeem the film from its contrivances, making it worth watching.

Michael Ealy as the not-too-innocent victim looks so comfortable with the material, having worked with the same director, Deon Taylor, in the home invasion thriller, “The Intruder”. 

He handles the tense scenes and dialogue with Hilary persuasively and the climax that is typical of this crime-thriller genre packs quite a wallop. 

Director Taylor knows well the demands of the film genre he is making and makes it work with its ominous tone and expert execution as a well made neo-noir devoid of any serious posturings. Watch it now in Upstream.ph.