Rebecca Romijn-Stamos emerges from her blue latex costume to show some skin, but in the end, that is about all Femme Fatale has to offer. Antonio Banderas also stars as the nicest paparazzi in the world.
Director Brian De Palma continues to look for his first hit since 1996's Mission: Impossible; his latest credits include Mission to Mars and Snake Eyes, both of which were flops, and for good reason. Those titles might not give the director much credit, except that he also has such classics under his belt like The Untouchables, Scarface and Carrie. After Femme Fatale, he will still be looking for his comeback film.
The movie starts off excellently, introducing us to a cool heist that involves stealing hundreds of diamonds off of a woman's body. Not only does De Palma pull off some cool visuals, but we are also treated to sex and nudity right off the bad. These two things - the visuals and the sex - are about the only two good things remaining by the end of the film. The plot, which starts off great, swirls out of control into nowhere, and ends with a twist ending that defies all logic and believability. Let's just say that De Palma, who also wrote the film, must have been on drugs the day he wrote the ending, for at any other time he would have realized that no one would enjoy it. Of course, he went on to actually film the scene, and didn't Romijn-Stamos and Banderas read the script ahead of time?
Femme Fatale is a thriller, but a slow-paced thriller. The first half is intriguing and exciting, filled with some action, suspense and sex, but the second half looses all grip of reality and is just boring as hell. Is Romijn-Stamos a good guy? Is she a bad guy? Is she even the protagonist of the story? It's hard to tell, as De Palma seems to suddenly focus on Banderas' character about halfway through the movie and attempts to turn Romijn-Stamos into some kind of seductive mystery, even though we already know what she is like.
Basically, Femme Fatale makes no sense. The first half of the movie is good, but the second is downright terrible. There are some cool scenes and visuals here and there, but nothing even remotely sensible appears in the last forty minutes.
One would have to be knocked unconscious to enjoy the ending to this lame, disappointing thriller.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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