By Laurie Coker
It is true, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” With these words comes an image of a woman bent on revenge and the victim or victims in her wake. ‘Hell Hath No Fury’s’ title evokes a similar representation, but director Jesse V. Johnson and writer Katharine Lee McEwan miss the opportunity to really demonstrate a scorned woman’s rage, in spite of a decent performance by their lead, Nina Bergman.
Based on a true story, in ‘Hell Hath No Fury’, Bergman plays Marie, a woman who leads a double life during WWII, as a concubine for a German SS officer and spy for the French resistance, only the spy part gets lost when her “boyfriend” kills the group trying to rob him of gold made from the teeth of Jews. After this botched effort, Marie is branded as a traitor by her countrymen – her head shaved and a swastika painted on her forehead. Just before the French tar and feather her, American soldiers step in to rescue her, but they, like everyone else, want to locate the gold she was the last person to see. The majority of the film takes place in an old cemetery where Marie, the Americans, a couple of French men, and a ghost from the past face off to claim the gold.
Sadly, the majority of the cast can’t act, at least in this anyway. They are more like darkly drawn caricatures of the people that play and the dialogue fails to capture the gravity of the situation. Bergman does her best but her character mainly just scowls and looks pathetic. She wields a gun like the others and there are scenes that seem like they should be intense, but they aren’t. Everything is grey, dull, and dreary which we expect, but so is the story and the cast.
From the trailer, ‘Hell Hath No Fury’ shows promise, but in reality, it lacks-luster in its overall depictions, especially for a war film. Bullets do fly, a few people get knocked around, and our heroine comes out on top (to a degree) but the road there is about as exciting as the tombstones that line the on-set graves. I am giving this film a D+/C-. A stronger more expressive cast might have salvaged the predictable story.