Director: Monika Mitchell
Writers: Suzette Couture and Donald Martin
Starring: Alyssa Milano, Sam Page, Emilie Ullerup, David Lewis, Malachi Weir, Lossen Chambers, Matthew Finaln
Netflix’s latest thriller, Brazen, is trashy entertainment, and it knows it. There are no attempts to be anything special here out really stretch beyond a generic formula, but it’s brain dead watching, which is sometimes what you need. You’ll forget about it almost immediately after you’ve finished it, but there is a lot worse ways to spend your time.
Mystery Writer Grace Miller (Alyssa Milano) has just finished her book tour and decides to get away from everything by visiting her sister Kathleen (Emilie Ullerup). Grace ends up going on a date with her sister’s neighbour, only to return to find Kathleen had been murdered. Ending up in a plot that’s like her own books, Grace helps the police hunt down a serial killer.
The plot to this film is ridiculous and it stretches the idea of believability to the extreme. Grace is a writer, who believes that she can get inside a killer’s mind, which is why she’s the perfect ally for the police. She’s solved previous crimes with the police, coming in as a fresh pair of eyes on a case, but that’s about as much backstory as you get with her. Grace gets permission from the captain and then is pretty much in control. She’s consoling a potential victim one moment, setting up sting operations the next, and the police just go along with it. It’s silly to the point of being funny.
The acting is what you’d expect from a TV movie, nothing spectacular but they’re all doing what has to be done. The characters are equally as bland, there’s no really depth or grey areas to any of them. The closest you get to that is with Kathleen, the first victim, who by day is a schoolteacher, and by night a webcam dominatrix. Her secret isn’t exactly hidden though, with students knowing about it, along with the school’s janitor.
The killer is obvious, even before the event actually takes place. It’s not revealed until towards the end, but you’ll know who it is. This doesn’t require a detective, or an author/consultant, to figure out. The killer is a little off the first time you see him and acts strange every time they appear, it’s not a great twist.
Brazen feels like something close to a pilot for a police procedural TV series, where the twist is that there’s an author helping with cases. It’s not the worst film you could waste your time with, but it’s not going to be something you’ll be recommending to people or remembering if anyone brings it up.
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