Fate (2003) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Do you enjoy playing "Whatever happened to ... ??"

  • Whatever happened to Philip Michael Thomas, the guy who played Don Johnson's partner on Miami Vice?

  • Whatever happened to Lee Majors, the Six Million Dollar Man, and Farrah's quondam husband?

  • Whatever happened to Michael Pare, the star of Eddie and the Cruisers?

The answer is the same for all three of them. They are all in Fate, a STV serial killer film shot in Alpharetta, Georgia. I guess it was their fate. Thomas and Pare play two detectives on the trail of a serial killer. Majors is the actual killer.

I wish they had provided something to mock, but those three guys all turned in respectable performances in this low budget flick. Sadly, the direction is downright slipshod, with some of the clumsiest scene transitions you are likely to see in a professional film these days. There are also continuity errors, confusing action sequences, and sound problems. There is one scene where I couldn't understand what the actors were saying at all, because of the background noises. These is another scene where the background music was hilariously out of synch with the dialogue.

The script didn't help much either. The film begins with an obese man being killed for some reason related to the bible. That man is found by policemen using flashlights in a darkened crime scene. That victim and subsequent ones are being killed for their sins by a killer who leaves behind clues in the form of biblical references. Sometimes he leaves behind other clues that lead the police to the next victim.

Does this premise sound enough like SE7EN for you?

Anyway, I was basically bored to tears by this film. The identity of the killer is revealed to us immediately, so there is no "whodunit?" mystery. The victims are strangers to us, so we don't get involved in their fate or care about them as individuals. There is no witty dialogue, ala SE7EN. The only reason to watch the film, therefore, is to find out why The Six Million Dollar Man is going on this murder spree, and why he has chosen these particular victims. Since the victims are basically anonymous, I just didn't care enough about those "whys" to get drawn in, although to be fair, there is a fairly interesting solution, a link between the victims, and even a link from the victims to the killer once all the cards are turned face-up. If I didn't have to watch the film, however, I never would have gotten that far.

In addition to the murder mystery, there is a sub-plot about some bad blood between Pare and Thomas related to some incident long in their common past, before their current partnership. That sub-plot is neither interesting nor relevant to the overall development of the film. The two guys had a drink one night, talked about it, end of story. No tension, no drama, no effect on their work, no impact on the case, no reason to get us more involved with them, no problem resolving it. Why did the screenwriters bother with it at all? I suppose that was their short cut to create some interesting characterization.


Tamara Chandler- full frontal

Heather Hogan - buns. (The Hogan nude scene is also shown from the front in the "making of" documentary - she had tape covering her breasts and crotch.)

DVD info from Amazon

  • widescreen letterboxed

  • documentary on "the making of"

Tell ya the truth, I can't come up with a good reason to watch this film, except to see how those three ex-stars are aging.

(Quick answer pictured below. Thomas: incredibly well (See picture. The years have been kind). Pare: also very well. Lee Majors: not so much, but he's not a young man.)

The Critics Vote ...

  • No major reviews online

The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a D. Clumsy direction, derivative script.  Interesting only to see how the three stars have aged during their years in the minors.

Return to the Movie House home page