Catwoman is purrfectly awful
From the exact opposite side of the spectrum of Batman Begins comes a look at the ill-fated Halle Berry take on Catwoman.
Worst case scenario, Anne Hathaway’s take on the character in The Dark Knight Rises will have to settle for being the third best film version after Michelle Pfeiffer (People Like Us) excellent turn in Batman Returns and Lee Merriweather in the 1966 Batman Batman: The Movie [Blu-ray]. It most assuredly won’t be the worst. But now, let’s look at a very dark blemish on the cinematic history of The Dark Knight.
Let me get this out the way real quick – Halle Berry in a skimpy leather outfit = a very good thing. Halle Berry in a skimpy leather outfit in the Catwoman movie = a mind-numbingly bad thing.
Not to say that Berry’s (X2) latest comic book movie is bad. It’s actually terrible and it is quite possibly the worst comic book movie ever. It’s somewhat appropriate that this year we’ve seen what arguably may be the best (Spider-Man 2) and worst that the comic book film genre has to offer. I’m inclined to give Catwoman the slight nod over Steel because Shaquille O’Neal has never been accused of being a world-class actor.
It’d be easy to rip the filmmakers for deciding to base an entire movie on one of Batman’s supporting characters and then totally remove any element of the Caped Crusader, but there’s so much more to a rotten summer film such as this.
Patience Phillips (Berry) is stuck in a dead-end job working for a snotty boss (Lambert Wilson, The Matrix Reloaded) and his vain supermodel wife Laurel (Sharon Stone) who is not the least bit happy about being replaced as the face of their company. Speaking of Stone, hopefully she retired the weed-wacker that gave her that haircut she’s sporting.
Patience overhears Laurel’s plot to sell an addictive skin care product that has a rather annoying side effect of ruining its user’s face after prolonged use. She gets caught and left for dead, only to be saved by a cat breathing on her. The cat’s breath gives Patience the attitude and abilities of a cat. Now with a new attitude, Patience prowls the night in a ripped leather costume with a cat motif calling herself Catwoman and bent on revenge on Laurel and her goons.
Benjamin Bratt gets the thankless job of playing Patience’s love interest Tom Lone, a detective who as luck would have it, is investigating the Catwoman case. And how great a detective can he really be if he can’t figure out that Patience and Catwoman are the same person? At least Lois Lane had the glasses to blame for not being able to tell Clark Kent and Superman.
Director Pitor seems to have been mistaken he was asked to direct a feature film, as everything feels like a big-budget fashion show from the would-be overblown, sweeping camera pans. In one amazingly embarrassing scene, Catwoman enters a nightclub and starts swinging her whip around in the middle of the dance floor before attacking one of Laurel’s goons. It’s moments like this that make me long for the quiet dignity of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s performance in Batman & Robin (BD) [Blu-ray]
It’s amazing to see how in such a big budget blockbuster that the little things like changing the characters’ outfits from one day to the next could go unnoticed.
If anything, Catwoman is consistent in that no detail small or large is important enough to be handled with any attention to detail.
To simulate a cat, most of the fighting scenes feature a CGI version of Catwoman, which wouldn’t be all that bad a solution to adequately capture a cat’s movements.
Catwoman bounces and jumps across the screen so fast that there is no illusion whatsoever that it’s simply a computer image on the screen dressed like Berry resulting in some of the worst CGI since The Hulk.
If you want to see a real Catwoman, check out Michelle Pfeiffer’s turn in Batman Returns, but whatever you do, leave this kitty cat in the alley where it belongs.
Rating: 1 out of 10
This is one of those awful movies that aren’t even bad enough to be good. It’s just awful. Catwoman’s sole purpose was to give Batman & Robin some company in the Batman film litter box.