Brian De Palma's fascination with femme fatales continues....and lesbians.

Good news about this movie is that it's definitely better than De Palma's other recent thriller attempts, such as "Femme Fatale" and "The Black Dahlia". The De Palma of the '70's and '80's has long been gone but with this movie he somewhat returns to form. The movie definitely has some hints of a great movie in it and there are some awesome classic De Palma touches- and moments of greatness in it but overall the movie still remains nothing more but a very average thriller unfortunately.

De Palma's biggest inspiration and influences always have come from Hitchcock- and Giallo movies. In this movie, both influences are all, once more, very noticeable. However, it's only really noticeable in its final 30 minutes though, which was also the only part of the movie that truly had me excited as a De Palma fan. Before that point, it's all buildup and the buildup in this case really isn't making it apparent where the movie is heading at with its story and characters. A bit annoying and it also certainly lets the movie drag at points but it's a technique that isn't uncommon for a De Palma movie. Sometimes it works out absolutely great for his movie ("Body Double" and "Dressed to Kill" for instance) but sometimes it just isn't the most engaging or interesting approach to take. The suspense and mystery isn't really all that great or much present throughout the movie its first half, which is a big problem.

It still shows some hints of a great- more classic type of thriller, with some strong female leads and a femme fatale type of character in it as well. Unfortunately Rachel McAdams isn't a great femme fatale though. She feels slightly miscast and perhaps she and Noomi Rapace should have switched roles. Noomi Rapace is much better as an actress in this movie and a good, strong, main lead for the movie its story.

The movie loves to present itself as an erotic thriller but is it really? It certainly isn't as erotic as perhaps its cover and title would suggest and there for instance is no real nudity in this movie either. There are a couple of sex scenes and some lesbian kissing but nothing too graphic or arousing really. It's certainly nothing we all haven't seen before in some mainstream modern movies and TV-series. No, even the lesbian stuff is quite tame and not as sensual as you would expect from De Palma, especially once you have seen his earlier movie "Femme Fatale".

And actually, now that I'm starting to think back more and more about this movie, lots of stuff that's happening in it really doesn't make any sense. I loved the ending for instance (I certainly did not see all of those twists coming) but at the same time, it's leaving way more questions than answers. Maybe I need to watch the movie again but I seriously doubt that is going to help me with all of the answers. It just isn't the type of airtight- and clever thriller. It feels more like entertainment instead, that isn't ever really trying to a very realistic and believable enough movie, all throughout.

On the one hand I'm very enthusiastic about the movie, seeing how it's De Palma's best out of recent years and how it has some real moments of greatness in it but on the other hand, I still have to be fair and say that it just isn't the best or most effective thriller you could ever watch.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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