I’m still thinking the pandemic and the rise of Amazon Prime and Apple TV+ is causing some major competition for Netflix, which just a few years ago, seemed to be the pinnacle of streaming services.
The latest offering of original programming is Brazen, a movie that is a cross hybrid between a Lifetime thriller and a Hallmark movie. While researching the cast, I found that Sam Page who plays the police detective (and former Abercrombie and Fitch model) Ed had a history of appearing in the Hallmark holiday movies. And Alyssa Milano who plays famous mystery writer Grace Miller has been more recognizable in the background of Supreme Court Justice hearings than appearing in movies.
I like Milano but she became more popular on TV series. I feel the movie, based on a book by Nora Roberts, was a little too risky for Lifetime as its subject matter involves women who do dominatrix videos online. And of course, Milano can’t resist having to put on the leather and crack a whip online to catch the killer. In a world where OnlyFans can turn housewives into celebrities, this feels about 10 years late.
The plot involves Grace spending time with her sister, Kathleen (Emilie Ullerup) who lives in the Washingon, D.C. area (or to anyone with keen eyesight, British Columbia). Kathleen is estranged from her ex-husband, who is shown just enough for us to know he’s a slimeball but a red herring. She is a teacher at a prestige private school where politician kids attend. But when she’s done grading papers and homework, she puts on some lingerie and leather and goes all Fifty Shades of Grey in front of the camera. So, obviously, she gets killed within the first act and anyone with half a brain can guess it was one of her students.
A smarter movie would have at least examined why women are willing to go online, especially if they’re a teacher. It would’ve also made Ed one of the suspects but since he was on a date with Grace when Kathleen was killed, that’s not the case here. Or could it be Ed’s partner, Ben (Malachi Weir)? No, because the killer attacks another woman who fights back and she tells them that he’s a white person and a teenager.
So, what you get is a movie in which a bunch of American actors interacting with a bunch of Canadian actors who deliver melodramatic dialogue for about an hour and a half. Even though it makes absolutely no sense, Ed and Ben’ supervisor Capt. Riveria (Alison Araya) lets Grace help with the investigation because she’s a famous mystery writer. But her sister was a victim in the case so that means that she would be considered a person of interest and they wouldn’t let her too close to the case anyway.
The entire case consists of model like actors with the exception of the overweight janitor who is actually a nice guy. There’s really no tension about who the killer is and there are the typical red herring characters. Even at an hour and a half, this is too long. If it wasn’t based on a novel, I would assume it was just a rejected TV script for a Law & Order: SVU episode. At least there, it would’ve been a big more enjoyable. Here, it’s just something to leave on while you’re working around the house.
What do you think? Please comment.