Killer on the Catwalk

Maggie Lawson in Hostile Makeover (2009)

Whilst working on an article about ugly duckling turned super model Amanda Manville (Serinda Swan), fashion journalist Lacey Smithsonian (Maggie Lawson - Cleaner) finds herself drawn in to a murder case when she not only witnesses Amanda being gunned down on the catwalk but her vintage car is used in the crime. With her mother and sister flying in when they hear of Lacey's involvement, Lacey turns sleuth to try and uncover who was behind the killing whilst also dealing with her cop boyfriend Vic (Victor Webster - Love Blossoms) who she thought was divorced but learns that his estranged wife is yet to sign the divorce papers.

"Hostile Makeover" is the second movie to be adapted from Ellen Byerrum's series of books "Crime of Fashion" but the first one I've watched. I'm not sure I will be watching anymore because honestly they are not my sort of thing although I am sure there will be those who love it. I can say that because "Hostile Makeover" feels like "Ugly Betty", it has that style, energy and characters with the exception of no camp guy. The only difference is that the central character is a fashion reporter with a habit of turning detective to solve crimes with the help of her friends.

Sadie LeBlanc in Hostile Makeover (2009)

Now the good thing about "Hostile Makeover" is that if you haven't watched the first movie, "Killer Hair", you won't be any worse off because everything about the movie is simple. In fact everything is spoon-fed so when we meet someone who is close to Lacey we learn their name, profession and connection in a very forced manner. It is bad but it also means that you are not going to be confused if you haven't watched the first movie.

As to the actual storyline, well what we have is that classic of a civilian turning Nancy Drew and solving a crime. As such we watch Lacey with her close girl friends set about solving the murder of super model Amanda. But there is no depth or real mystery to this, no clever crime solving or gritty investigation rather one minute no one knows the next it is miraculously solved which allows for a moment of action mixed with comedy.

The thing is that "Hostile Makeover" comes across as just one thing and that is someone trying to deliver the style and humour of "Ugly Betty" in movie form. As such we have characters, comedy, relationships and even a look which all feels like it has been plucked out of the TV show. Now if you like the TV show then there is a chance you will enjoy this movie with its simple humour and crime story but if you don't like the show then this ends up one very shallow movie which borders on being mind numbingly boring.

What this all boils down to is that "Hostile Makeover" is basically "Ugly Betty" in style and humour. It means that unless you like the TV series you are going to end up watching this made for TV movie and find it a vacuous ordeal.

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