Saturday, January 23, 2016

Lethal Seduction - Review - @BrandonCSites

Lethal Seduction (2015) **
D: Nancy Leopardi
C: Dina Meyer, Amanda Detmer, Caleb Ruminer, Sam Lerner, Brian Smith, Tessa Harnetiaux, Robert Maschio

Plot Synopsis: A high school senior has a summer fling with an older woman, but when he tries to break it off, she reveals her psychopathic nature.

Review: Lethal Seduction is yet another movie produced for the Lifetime network that bears an uncanny resemblance to Fatal Attraction. This time around, in a flimsy attempt to try and differentiate the material, the emphasis is placed on the two women affected by this fling - the other woman & the mom of the teenage boy involved in this fling.

Amanda Detmer plays the mom. She a Sally Homemaker type who lives vicariously through her son after the death of her husband, but beyond these traits, there's no real insight into this character or what she's had to deal with. Playing the other woman is Dina Meyer. Her character pretty much amounts to a cougar who turns psychopathic when she doesn't get what she wants.

Even though the characters and the premise are developed in the most rudimentary way possible this turns out to be a non-issue as this isn't a film that's going for substance, but for style & over the top theatrics. There's a few instances where you can see that director 
Nancy Leopardi has brought visual flair to the proceedings. The supporting cast is capable. There's some trashy dialogue. A few of the confrontational scenes involving Meyer are forcefully executed. The sex scenes are steamy given the TV14 perimeters. Dina Meyer is the perfect embodiment of a cougar that guys would fantasize about. Caleb Ruminer is appropriate eye candy doing the hot, awkward young guy thing sufficiently. Ruminer is a potential breakout star waiting to happen as he's able to hold his own against Meyer's strong performance.

This is a film that clearly wants to be a bit edgy, despite the handicap of being a Lifetime movie. However, those attempts at edge are dulled down by Detmer's bland performance. She plays her mom character in the most superficial way possible. It's as though Detmer is off in her own world. Her performance feels separate from everyone else tonally. However, let's cast that aside. Even if Detmer's performance had more bite, this still wouldn't have quite worked. Most of this can be attributed to the ending.

Naturally, things are going to cumulate with Detmer & Meyer fighting it out over Ruminer. When it comes to the last act and these final showdown scenarios, they're supposed to be the centerpiece, the moment that makes you go WOW! When it comes to the final showdown, you have to go for it and be willing to throw any and everything into the mix, including the kitchen sink. Yet, the final showdown, here, disappoints in the worst way possible in that it feels like more of a throwaway. 

After all the trashy dialogue, sex, backstabbing & various manipulations, the finale is the last place where they should be taking a less is more type approach. This should've ended with a ROAR, not a whimper. [Not Rated] 80 minutes.

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