a critiQal film review Femme Fatale (2002)

  • DVD
  • Vudu

Plot: Laure Ash (Romijn) double-crosses her partners-in-crime after a daring Cannes diamond robbery and makes off with the loot before disappearing. Seven years later, Laure (now called Lily Watts) re-surfaces as the wife of the new American ambassador to France and a Spanish photographer, Nicolas Barto (Banderas), takes her picture - setting the stage for a series of events as Laure uses any and all means to protect her former identity

464 words (Est. Reading Time 2m 19s)
  • ...watch for a surprise twist to grab your attention right when it's starting to wane in this DePalma film.

Brian DePalma, director of such classics as Carrie (1976), Scarface, The Untouchables (1987) and Carlito’s Way (just to name a few), returns with Femme Fatale.

Teaming Rebecca Romijn-Stamos together with Antonio Banderas, he takes us on an erotic thrill-ride through the streets of France. At least, that’s what the trailer made it seem like. Was it? It varied.

Tall, leggy super model Rebecca Romijn-Stamos. is definitely not afraid to show her body. After going nude (with body paint only) in X-Men (2000) (and in X-Men 2 (2003), due out this summer), she goes for this film, which doesn’t do a thing for her modesty, to say the least.

Yes guys, she gets naked a few times. Her acting, however, can’t really keep up with her stunning figure, and some of her dialogue seems incredibly forced (Geena Davis, in The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996), while not holding a candle to Rebecca’s figure, does manage to convey a more convincing bad girl).

Antonio Banderas, still trying to live up to (in my mind) his performance in Desperado (1995), manages to convey a semi-convincing persona in this film. He seems a bit dazed throughout the film, and seems to be struggling to find the words he’s supposed to say.

The plot seems simple enough in the beginning of Femme Fatale. By an odd coincidence, a woman on the run lucks into a case of mistaken identity. She flees the country (France) to the United States, where it would seem easy to get lost in.

She meets someone, who falls in love with her, who unfortunately turns out to be a public figure in the country she’s running from. She gets by, until someone finally snaps her photo, then she’s on the run again, but this time, there’s nowhere to run. It drags along a little in some parts, true, but don’t stray.

Just when you think it’s all over…keep watching. A definite surprise twist at the end, and it even pulls a laugh out of you, something you wouldn’t expect from the rest of the film.

The special effects are minimal. The background, the streets of France, are shot very well, and definitely help the feel of a darker film. It almost feels as if it’s always about to rain, throughout most of the film, and it helps to have that dreary feeling as a backdrop. It gives a great atmosphere to the film, and can only serve to enhance it.

Without it’s surprising twist, this film would have just been ho-hum. Throw in that twist, and it suddenly grabs your attention again, right when it has begun to wane. While not up to the quality of DePalma’s best, Femme Fatale is still worth a rental.

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