In one corner, we have Beyonce. In the other, Ali Larter. Ladies, start your fighting. This is essentially the final act of the erotic thriller Obsessed, and if I just ruined something for you, then you must have been hiding in hole when they were marketing this surprise hit. In the movie, Larter plays a sexy blonde temp who goes crazy over dashing Idris Elba and spends most of her time trying to convince the happily married man that he is indeed in love with her and not his hot wife. Beyonce plays the wife, and that's about as much as can be said about her character.
Obsessed is a throwaway thriller, nothing more, nothing less. If you've seen Fatal Attraction, and if you are into these kinds of films I truly hope that you have, then you've essentially seen Obsessed. The only difference is that Obsessed is unoriginal and not as well acted; on the flip side, Ali Larter is much hotter than Glenn Close. So, watch it for the eye candy and be done it with it.
Truthfully, Elba gets a bum rap here. He's easily the main character, who is forced to deal with two crazy women, both of whom incorrectly believe that he's sleeping with the one that is not his wife. He also delivers a pretty strong performance and plays a believable businessman whose innocent flirtations take his family down a path he wasn't expecting. And despite his performance - easily the best of the three leads - and his central role, he was relegated to the background in the marketing of the film and is even cut out of the climax altogether. The movie is about him, but instead Beyonce shows up at the end to do her unbelievable tough girl routine to kill Ali Larter. Spoiler? Puh-lease, you knew how this one was going to end.
I've never been a fan of Beyonce, for whatever reason. She's gorgeous, and yet I'm generally not attracted to her. She has some good songs, but I don't know if I can ever forgive her for "Single Ladies," one of the most ear-screeching, horrific monstrosities that the music industry has ever produced. More importantly, she's just not that good of an actress. Never was, never will be. She really does play a pretty small role in Obsessed up until the end, where screenwriter David Loughery gives some true B-grade Ashley Judd tough girl dialogue. At least director Steve Shill gives her some action, but the climax is so dull and lacking suspense it's hard to take seriously.
Larter is okay as the crazy stalker, but really, Loughery and Shill don't give her much to do in terms of actually going crazy. In Fatal Attraction, Glenn Close literally goes off the deep end - and we believe it; in Obsessed, Larter's actions imply some psychological problems, but instead of seeing something truly great, we get a cheesy catfight.
Obsessed is perfectly watchable, but that's about it. This story has been done many times before to better results. The one remarkable thing about the movie is the leading man presence Idris Elba exudes, but Beyonce and Larter seem like nothing more than marketing toys to draw audiences in.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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