Monday, September 8, 2008

Fatal Instinct

I tend to be a sucker for spoof movies. I say to myself that looks kind of interesting...and then end up wasting an hour and a half watching some variation of the same sophomoric half-baked garbage. However, the last police spoof I watched, Hot Fuzz, was surprisingly funny. I figured I would give this 1993 movie a shot and see if the age on it gave it any advantage over the drivel we get from spoofs today. I should have followed my initial instincts. Fatal Instinct was written by David O'Malley who was a writer on the old Mork and Mindy Show. Now come on, how bad can a movie be written by someone that contributed to such a funny sitcom? Okay, maybe my nostalgia is getting in the way of my common sense. There really isn't a plot to Fatal Instinct. It is a knockoff of Fatal Attraction with some diversions thrown in. The situations created by the writing are really not that funny and the dialogue is predictable and drab. There are a lot of one-liners with lots of sexual innuendo thrown in. The quality of the gags is fairly low although they may occasionally illicit a giggle or too. The characters are spoofed so you expect them to be one-dimensional, but even a hint of personality might have added something to this film. Fatal Instinct spoofs several suspense movies of the late 1980's or early 1990's. The main target was Fatal Attraction which was waiting to be spoofed. The police officer/lawyer is being plotted against by his wife and her lover. His secretary has a murderous ex-boyfriend with obsessive compulsive disorder bent on revenge. Then there is the guy that our hero sent down the river that has been sending threatening faxes to his office following his release. Oh yeah, and the torrid affair with the mysterious woman who likes ice picks...and wants payback...and happens to be the sister of the lawyer's wife who is trying to kill him. Confusing yet? The paroled con that wants to kill our hero wears the same suit as our hero and is mistaken for him by the wife, resulting in the death of the man who was going to kill her husband anyway. Timing is everything. The movie finishes in a rather predictable violent and unoriginal way. Armand Assante plays the lead, Ned Ravine. He probably spends every day of his life trying to forget it. He has done some good films, but he had nothing to work with in this one. He was marginal at best. Ravines secretary Laura is played by Sherilyn Fenn. In some strange way, I actually liked her...a quality I can't quite put my finger on. Her character maybe. I actually sit her thinking I liked her character...must have been her...the writing didn't do her any justice. Kate Nelligan was Ravine's wife Lana. She was forgettable. Sean Young played the Fatal Attraction role...Lola...she was okay, nothing special. Her role was pretty flat, so I don't think it was really the acting. The rest of the cast were as forgettable as the main characters. Other than Laura, none of the characters had any qualities worth remembering.


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