(director: Leon Taylor; screenwriter: David Loughery; cinematographer: Dante Spinotti; editors: Eric L. Beason, Peck Prior; music: Geoff Zanelli; cast: Hilary Swank (Detective Valerie Quinton), Michael Ealy (Derrick), Mike Colter (Rafe), Geoffrey Owens (Bill Cranepool), Damaris Lewis (Traci), Tyrin Turner (Tyrin), Danny Pino (Carter Haywood), Sam Daly (Officer Stallman), David Hoflin (Officer Lowe), Lexa Gluck (Carter’s Wife); Runtime: 102; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Roxanne Avent Taylor, Deon Taylor, Hilary Swank; Lionsgate; 2020)

It’s an entertaining film that does slime as well as one can do slime without going overboard.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The pulp thriller is directed as another Fatal Attraction by director Deon Taylor (“The Intruder”) and writer David Loughery. The B-film has its moments to remember, otherwise it’s a trashy melodrama.

The black Derrick (Michael Ealy) is a star college hoopster who after graduation has become a successful sports agent, residing in a luxurious hilltop house in the Hollywood Hills. But his marriage to the knockout real estate agent Traci (Damaris Lewis) is on the rocks. He’s also unhappy that his best-friend/business partner Rafe (Mike Colter) wants to suddenly cash in big by selling their small company to the big-time William Morris Endeavor corporate agency.

A trip with Rafe to Las Vegas for his bachelor party, has Derrick on a one-night stand with the seductive femme fatale Val (Hilary Swank), whom he meets in a bar. The next day back in LA, Derrick makes peace with his wife, that’s interrupted by a home invasion, where a masked man tries to kill him.

Derrick’s surprised that Val is the LAPD officer in charge of the burglary investigation. Val’s personal  problem is that her embezzler politically-connected scumbag ex-husband (Danny Pino) is out to keep custody of their young daughter because Val once harmed her. Val is a destructive psychopath, a real piece of work, a crooked white cop who tells Derrick she’s determined to be destructive in her life endeavors, further warning him: “Our actions have repercussions…You used me in Vegas. Now I’m gonna use you.”

There’s also an unappealing subplot involving Derrick’s ex-con cousin (Tyrin Turner).

It’s an entertaining film that does slime as well as one can do slime without going overboard.

swank and ealy

REVIEWED ON 12/30/2021  GRADE: B-