Femme Fatale

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1 1/2

Content: -4

Billed as an erotic thriller, FEMME FATALE is the latest release from acclaimed filmmaker Brian De Palma, whose hits include Mission: Impossible and Body Double. Laure (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos), a self-proclaimed bad girl and jewel thief, on the night of a major heist betrays her fellow robbers and keeps the jewels for herself. In the course of eluding her angry cohorts, Laure witnesses a suicide and steals the identity of the dead woman, allowing her an easy escape from France to a new life in the United States. But after seven years of sweet obscurity, Laure (now Lily) finds herself back in France, married to the U.S. ambassador (Peter Coyote). Paparazzi photographer Nicolas Bardo (Antonio Banderas) snaps a photo of the camera-shy Lily, exposing her identity and kindling anew her enemies thirst for vengeance. Laure seduces and ensnares Bardo, attempting to extort millions of dollars and to swindle her husband, all the while evading her former co-criminals.

FEMME FATALE has little in the way of commendable or entertaining material to offer the viewer. While the plot is often thrilling and even engaging, it is primarily used to display empty seduction, shocking and gratuitous language, violence and sexuality including an extended lesbian scene and a striptease. One might acknowledge a theme of redemption in the final long moments of the film. However, redemption for this thief means that her adversaries die and she gets what she desires: all the benefits with none of the consequences. More than that, the abundant plot twists leading to this pseudo-redemption are contrived at best, causing most viewers to laugh aloud at the absurdity of it all. With pervasive offensive language, graphic violence and sexuality, and a lack of characterization and plot, this film leaves much to be desired.

Preview Reviewer: Shaun Daugherty
Warner Bros., 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91522

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (18) times Mild 9, moderate 9

Obscene Language: Many (37) times F-word 27, s-word 8, other 2

Profanity: Several (6) times Regular 2 (G 1, GD 1); Exclamatory 4 (OMG 4)

Violence: Many times Moderate (several men are shot, stun gun used on man, woman slapped, man is beat up, woman thrown off of balcony, woman hit on head with champagne bottle); Severe (graphic depiction of woman run over by a truck)

Sex: Few times Graphic (two women in extended scene in shower with nudity, woman astride man with motions)

Nudity: Few times (woman in bed partially covered by sheet, woman with partially exposed breasts, woman in shower with breasts exposed, woman dancing in underwear with breasts partially exposed, woman underwater with full frontal nudity); Near Nudity: once (woman in underwear)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (woman in bar refers to sex with obscenity, woman seduces man and dances suggestively)

Drugs: Few times Mild (woman accused of being high, woman drinking and smoking in bathtub, couple sitting at table with drinks)

Other: implied suicide, urination stream, woman purchases gun in sex shop, woman discusses being abused by her husband, positive portrayal of criminal activity and betrayal, man prevents woman from committing suicide, woman prevents woman from committing suicide)

Running Time: 110 minutes
Intended Audience: Adult

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