Review: Fatwa

Overwrought drama has Lauren Holly playing a tough U.S. senator having a wild sex romp with staffer/lover Billy Warlock (yes, that Billy Warlock, from “Baywatch” and just about every daytime soap you’ve ever been ashamed to admit watching), whilst her angry husband John Doman tries to get his problem-solver brother Angus McFadyen and his cohort Mykelti Williamson to bump her off. Meanwhile, two completely unconvincing teens (McFadyen’s daughter Rachel Miner and her hot Israeli pal Lacey Chabert!) snort coke delivered to them by a disillusioned Libyan cab driver (Roger Guenveur Smith), who is also considering a career in terrorism. Gee, I wonder whom his intended target might well be. Elizabeth Uhl mugs shamelessly in the most unbelievably attention-seeking cameo I’ve ever seen, as an eager-to-please waitress the two would-be hit men encounter.

Cheaply made but mostly dopey and incoherent mess from 2006 directed by John Carter isn’t worth your time. It’s filmed in some of the worst digital video I’ve ever seen, and in a film that boasts the super-fine Lacey Chabert in a bikini and Lauren Holly’s improbably large cleavage on display, that is utterly depressing. Sometimes shamefully inflammatory (Compare this to the more even-handed and morally complex TV series “24”), but if you must watch it, try to figure out what the hell it’s all about. It seems to want to be another “Crash” (which was clich├ęd and overrated anyway), a series of seemingly unrelated stories and characters that somehow come together to say something about modern life. But if you can tell me what a couple of dead-beat would-be hitmen, a coke-snorting Lacey Chabert (yup, she sure has grown up!), and a hard-arse U.S. senator who is bonking Billy Warlock (whose character is kinda murky at best) all have to do with one another, you’re clearly a smarter person than I. Add a Travis Bickle-inspired would-be Arab terrorist (Guenveur-Smith actually tries his best here in the role, trying to find the humanity and depth in a horribly written part, that makes no sense whatsoever, and I believe it was the actor alone who wanted his character to be 3-D) and you’ve got yourself one helluva mess. Making the terrorist also a drug dealer so he could interact with the Chabert and Miner characters is just deplorably contrived.

Badly filmed, badly written, badly acted (Chabert is miscast, Holly, Uhl and the always hammy McFadyen are embarrassing), incoherently directed, and gee, do you think Holly was a producer on this, with all the cleavage shots and such? It might just be the most offensive thing I’ve ever seen, but I just don’t know what it’s really saying. I do know that it’s not at all worth seeing, though, even if you find Holly or Chabert really hot (or Billy Warlock for that matter). The screenplay is by Scott Schafer, who like his fellow newbie Carter, should probably go back to school, preferably a school for the intellectually-disabled. Actually, no, that’s an insult to the intellectually-disabled, who are quite often rather bright, considering.

Rating: D+


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