3 Stars
Year Released: 2002
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 100 minutes
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With its elegant camera shots, convoluted plot and steamy sex scenes, could there be any doubt that “Femme Fatale” is a Brian De Palma film? This is a return to form for De Palma, director of ambitious thriller fare like “Dressed to Kill” and “Body Double.” Like those films, this one ends in a rather contrived fashion, but it’s a fun ride.
Rebecca Romijn-Stamos plays a thief named Laure – the first time we see her, she’s watching Barbara Stanwyck’s evil seductress in the classic film noir “Double Indemnity.” It proves to be a worthy motivator, as Laure then pulls a major heist by seducing a diamond-encrusted costume off a model – in a washroom at the Cannes film festival, no less. Better yet, she double-crosses her two male partners and makes a dramatic escape.
Ah, but the fun is only beginning – things really heat up when our thief gets involved with a seedy paparazzo (played by Antonia Banderas). While “Femme Fatale”’s plot borrows from “Double Indemnity,” De Palma also adds some Lynchian flavour in the film’s substantial second act, which loses itself in a dreamy haze of deception. Unlike Lynch, however, De Palma feels the need to tie up the loose ends. The film’s ending is a crash-collision of serendipitous events more becoming of a slapstick comedy than a noir thriller. At least De Palma’s not rolling “Snake Eyes” this time around.

Posted on November 10, 2002 in Reviews by

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