film reel image

film reel image

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Heatwave 2022 * * 1/2 Stars


"You're acting paranoid". Oh yeah. You would be too if the cops were after you. Oh and how about a triple-digit temperature to go along with the fuzz.

Anyway 2022's Heatwave initially feels like a Lifetime endeavor until you realize it's not (Paramount Pictures, ding ding). The film has better production values than anything on the Lifetime Network and for once it was shot in a city and not some residential outlet. 

So is Heatwave a suspense drama that pulls the strings and keeps you enthralled? For most of the way yes. Does the flick run out of wiggle room trying to wrap things up? Unfortunately yeah. That is Heatwave's veritable, Achilles heel.

Heatwave as a vehicle of lofty business panache, has a great look. I mean it's almost on par with the big studio stuff. It's a little 1994's Disclosure here and a little Basic Instinct there. Mainly it verges on neo-noir, glossy and slick and filmed in what looks like Vancouver, British Columbia (I could be wrong but just an observation). 

Almost nil on violence and dense on mystery, Heatwave's story involves a businesswoman who while trying to climb up the corporate ladder, has an affair with her superior's wife. When said superior gets murdered, said businesswoman is the prime suspect. Oh and it's freaking hot outside (hence the film's title). 

Heatwave stars Kat Graham, Merritt Patterson, Cardi Wong, and Sebastian Roche. Have you actually heard of these guys? No? Well me neither but they give decent performances. It's just too bad Heatwave's director (Ernie Barbarash) piles on so many twists and flashbacks that it feels like he's doing it just for the one up. I mean Barbarash knows where to put the camera and can summon steamy atmosphere but hey, even the makers of Clue have their limits. In the end Heatwave bodes promise but turns up kind of "lukewarm". Natch. 

Written by Jesse Burleson

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