This week, our resident movie reviewer, Jeremy Morrison, is back with a fresh review of one of Olive Films most exciting new releases, “Fatal Beauty.”
First, a quick synopsis: Whoopi Goldberg (The Color Purple) headlines alongside Sam Elliott (The Big Lebowski) in the action-packed comedy Fatal Beauty. Detective Rita Rizzoli (Goldberg) teams with partner Carl Jimenez (Rubén Blades, The Counselor) to track down the drug ring responsible for a potent and lethal cocaine hybrid known as “Fatal Beauty.”
Enter Mike Marshak (Elliott), a drug cartel bodyguard and an unlikely ally in Rizzoli’s quest to bring the responsible drug czar to justice. Fatal Beauty allows Goldberg the opportunity to stretch her comedic and dramatic acting muscles. In his film review Roger Ebert said “Fatal Beauty is first and foremost an action movie … but it is also Goldberg’s best work since The Color Purple.”
Directed by Tom Holland (Fright Night) from a screenplay by Hilary Henkin and Dean Riesner based on a story by Bill Svanoe, Fatal Beauty co-stars Harris Yulin (Another Woman), Jennifer Warren (Slap Shot), Brad Dourif (Amos & Andrew) and James Le Gros (Point Break).
REVIEW: FATAL BEAUTY is one of many action packed cop dramas that the 80s had to offer. In a decade full of every type of cop thriller imaginable, FATAL BEAUTY is able to set it self apart by way of Whoopi Goldberg’s Rita Rizzoli, a tough as nails, witty detective out to stop a drug lord and his product. Originally written for Cher, thanks IMDb, on paper Rizzoli is a wise crackin’ Italian cop with street smarts. Goldberg is able to effortlessly step into the character delivers a performance so good, you forget she’s not a basic white girl. Kudos to director Tom Holland (CHILD’S PLAY, HATCHET II) for allowing Whoopi to play the role as written. Honestly it’s one of her best performances to come out of an era where she was a bankable lead.
Joining Whoopi Goldberg in Fatal Beauty is a strong ensemble cast lead by Sam Elliott and Brad Dourif. Elliott oozes calm, cool, and collected opposite Goldberg’s hyper chaos. The two share a chemistry that is missed in today’s cinema. Of course every good 80s cop flick needs a bad guy worthy of a bullet, and Brad Dourif is so stellar in the film it is scary. Dourif could literally watch paint dry on camera for 93 minutes and he’d find a way to make the performance academy award worthy, but that’s no secret. His ability to find that dark place to channel his inner cold blooded killer is astonishing, and Fatal Beauty is better for it.
It’s said Fatal Beauty is a female Beverly Hills Cop, and that pisses me off. The film is more than just an interchangeable vagina to capitalize on a “female (insert title here)” cash grab. Do yourself a favor and revisit this title, or discover it for the first time, so long as you see it asap!