Posted: 10/09/2004




by Del Harvey

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Fate is the story of a couple of small-town detectives (Michael Pare and Phillip Michael Thomas) on the trail of a sociopath (Lee Majors). The production company’s P.R. blurb reads:

“A city infected with homicides and lawless murders. A vulnerable city such as this is the ideal habitat for a well-defined sociopath (Lee Majors). This is the story of two detectives hunting a killer who is using his victims as characters in a demented story.

In the midst of all this is Cody Martin (Michael Paré), an ex-fed turned detective with an impressive arrest record, and his partner Detective Ciprian Raines (Philip Michael Thomas), a retired agent whose work is well noted in the Bureau, the A.T.F., U.S. Customs, and the C.I.A. The two detectives are under pressure from their boss Captain Bullock to solve the murders.”

What we have here, basically, is an average episode of any TV crime show stretched out way too long at around 90 minutes, without commercials. What we have is way too much padding, with extensive scenes of Pare and Thomas going here, walking there, not saying much, looking way too serious in their trenchcoats and leather jackets. It’s like an episode of Miami Vice without Michael Mann’s direction or writing, or any of the intense action scenes.

On the other hand, it’s good to see Lee Majors in anything, even if it’s an inept murder mystery, and he is the slasher du jour. Majors at 60 looks to be in better shape than either of his “younger” co-stars, and his acting is definitely far superior.

There’s a story here, but it’s really a rehashing of any of the slasher/psycho killer films you’ve seen in the past 10 years. Originality is hard to come by for anyone, but many other folks are quite capable at making even the dullest of stories glimmer faintly. Nothing like that happens in Fate.

I will tell you that Fate was written by Ash Smith (Paranoid; Crossing Over) and directed by Ace Cruz, who somehow won the honor of “Best Director” at the Virgo Awards, 2001. Maybe they didn’t see this film. I tell you this because I want you to remember those names. Remember them so you can avoid them. MTI Home Video has produced and distributed far better films. Seek one of those out. Or play Yahtzee. Or take a nap.

Del Harvey is a writer and screenwriting teacher living in Chicago.

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