Obsessed (Review)

Tedious thriller is too tame

Derek Charles (Idris Elba) is a successful investment banker with a beautiful wife (Beyonce Knowles) and a young son. His wife Sharon was his assistant, and everyone points out his history as a single player around the office, but he points out at every turn that he has retired his jersey happily thanks to the love of his good woman.

Enter Lisa (Ali Larter), an over-eager and over-efficient temp with her sights set on Derek and his happy home. Or so it seems. I’m hedging here because despite a rather lengthy runtime (close to two hours when approximately 85 minutes would have sufficed), it is difficult to say what is driving Lisa. Obsession should be not just crazy but dangerous, and the temp should be a real temptress, if you know what I mean, because the hand rocking the cradle ought to get a little wild so that the disclosure of the attraction could prove to be fatal, right? That is what audiences will expect here, and there’s the added edge of a racial angle — a white woman set on wrecking a happy black home — which is never directly pointed out (score one for progressive racial politics, I guess).

But outside throwing herself all over Derek a few times, Lisa simply isn’t bunny-boiling loony. I also had a hard time watching Elba playing anything less than his smooth criminal Stringer Bell (from HBO’s The Wire), who would have handled this crazy business pimp-style.

Sadly, when Beyonce attempts to channel her inner Bell, she could have used a little of her musical alter ego Sasha’s fierceness. Grade: F

Opens May 1. Check out theaters and show times, see the film's trailer and find nearby bars and restaurants here.