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Overall Rating

Awesome: 12.5%
Worth A Look: 14.58%
Average: 4.17%
Pretty Bad56.25%
Total Crap: 12.5%

4 reviews, 24 user ratings

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Femme Fatale
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by EricDSnider

"People who marry Uncle Jesse can't be expected to make wise career moves."
2 stars

I am assuming Rebecca Romijn-Stamos was so delighted at the prospect of STARRING in a movie -- leading lady, appearing in almost every scene, and so forth -- that she didn't care what the movie was about, or how trashy it was, or whether she would ever get to wear any clothes during the filming of it.

"Femme Fatale" is not the sort of movie that appears to have been carefully considered by its stars beforehand. It's everything you expect in a Brian DePalma film (he wrote and directed it), and more: gratuitous nudity, random gory violence, plenty of style and very little substance. By any other director, it would be dismissed as pure trash. By DePalma, it requires we pay attention to it, and THEN dismiss it as pure trash.

It's enjoyable trash, though, at least for a while. It begins with a lusty lesbian scene in a bathroom stall at the Cannes Film Festival. One of the maker-outers is Laura Ash, played by Romijn-Stamos, who then absconds with stolen jewelry and other expensive designer-wear, at which point she apparently double-crosses her fence and makes off the loot on her own.

I say "apparently" because much of what occurs in the film is not what it appears to be. It appears that Laura becomes the wife of a diplomat (Peter Coyote), who takes her back to France, which is dangerous, since that's where she's a wanted woman. And it appears her cover may be blown when a paparazzi photographer named Nicolas Bardo (Antonio Banderas) snaps a shot of the diplomat's reclusive wife and publishes it for all the world (well, all of France) to see. And it appears that things get messy from there. (Actually, that part is definitely true: Things do get messy.)

I suspect even DePalma would admit the plot is hardly relevant. What's important here are the scenes of Rebecca Romijn-Stamos being naked or partly naked. Goodnes knows we shouldn't pay attention to the parts where she's acting!

We're also meant to see, notice and admire DePalma's visual style, which involves letting the camera lurk, loom and prowl. Taking into account the film's final twist, which I won't spoil, the camerawork actually makes sense and fits into a greater theme. A few other subtle details may also make the film worth a second viewing.

Except that, even as trash, it gets old. It feels longer than it is, like the whole thing is too fascinated with itself. DePalma refuses to ever completely cut loose and JUST make some trash; he tries to pretty it up and dignify it with artsy stylistic maneuvers and the occasional clever trick.

Don't be fooled, though. This is worthless, sugary stuff -- fine for the occasional filthy night out, but hardly the sort of thing you want to make a major staple in your diet.

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originally posted: 11/23/02 18:49:58
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User Comments

12/29/17 morris campbell good not great 4 stars
7/03/06 Dani Brilliant filmmaking. 5 stars
4/11/05 R.W. Welch Overly artsy technique bogs down story line. Just passable. 3 stars
11/21/04 Victor She's stunning, the scene where she gets ass fucked is perfect. 5 stars
8/09/04 Lucas awesome 5 stars
7/20/04 boo not that bad, but not as good as it could have been 4 stars
4/17/04 Michael Greenwaldt A HORRIBLE bore! I'm serious when I say I thought it had been on for 4 hours. Worst of 02'! 1 stars
1/13/04 John a nice opening squence followed by a contrived and far fetched plot 2 stars
11/08/03 Agent Sands (previously Mr. Hat) It wasn't at all what I expected, but it was great nonetheless. Lots of brilliant stuff. 4 stars
5/25/03 Jack Sommersby Too-stylish film make syou regret having given it the benefit of the doubt for too long. 2 stars
5/23/03 mr. Pink Some great sequences can't elavate this dissapointment to a good film. 3 stars
5/12/03 Jesse Widmark Really Bad screenplay/ annoying directing 1 stars
4/20/03 jay not as promising as it appears 4 stars
4/16/03 Orson Welles FF is a highly reflected neo noir, full of intertextuality and deeply embedded in the femme 4 stars
4/15/03 Tom Sucked, The dream crap just pisses me off 1 stars
4/10/03 Ingo There's far more than you see at first glance - highly recommended. 5 stars
2/16/03 qdorfman It's not a thriller for God's sake. Worth more than one viewing.. 5 stars
12/12/02 Natalie Stonecipher A piss-off within a bull-shit wrapped up inside a fuck-up! 1 stars
12/07/02 RB None 2 stars
11/25/02 1sexyb It was entertaining & fun to watch, and yes, rebecca is hot! 4 stars
11/19/02 jeff not a waste of time. Rebecca is amzingly good looking. 4 stars
11/14/02 Kelleigh oh-my-fucking-god...rebecca is amazingly arousing. Awesome movie. God Damn! 5 stars
11/09/02 Christiane Ley The T&A alone didn't justify the $6 I paid to sit through 2 hours of agony. 1 stars
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  06-Nov-2002 (R)



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