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Wednesday, April 26, 2023

A Sister's Revenge 2013 * * * 1/2 Stars


2013's A Sister's Revenge is one of the most effective Lifetime flicks ever made. Sans the usual LA locales, it's a conniving, layer upon layer thriller in which director Curtis James Crawford carefully pulls out all the stops. 

Starring Brooke Burns, Ken Proulx, and Peter Gray, "Sister" gives us one of the great antagonists of TV ready-made-s and juggles different plot points with some serious aplomb. There's the searing flashbacks, the opening, inserted hit-and-run scene, the relentless lex talionis, and the Forensic Files-style third act. Yup, what we have here is a real doozy, a Lifetime-r that combines style and substance over just style. "You know what you can do, you can suffer". Ouch.

In terms of characters, well A Sister's Revenge puts them in a pristine, Philly restaurateur setting and lets them get their wasp on. I mean it's not enough for an evil woman to blackmail a guy after roofing and sleeping with him. You have to further go after his family, do a B and E on his plush digs, mess with his fiscal matters, and blot his reputation in the eatery biz. That's "Revenge's" inching, sticking point and it makes the film almost feel like Fatal Attraction as a three-part series. Cockroaches are just substituted for hard-boiled bunnies. Ugh. 

As a Lifetime pic about a married restaurant owner who has a brief tryst with a co-worker while living to regret it, "Revenge" has actors that are well cast with their performances being expounded and/or perfect for the throes of this long running cable channel. But wait, there's more. A Sister's Revenge also provides helmer Crawford with set locations that range from the unspoiled to the mark of convention. One doesn't substitute for the other and that makes "Revenge" feel like a veristic, budgeted affair. "Big payback". 

Written by Jesse Burleson

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