A slight detour from movies I thought might suck to check out one I knew would suck, 2004’s Catwoman, deserving of its own post because it sucks to an impressive level. Being one of the few superhero movies of the last 15 years I haven’t seen, and it’s one of my favorite characters in comics, I figured I’d just hate-watch it.
It’s about 20 minutes of romantic comedy before anything action-y happens. Halle Berry is Patience Phillips (not Selina Kyle), who wants to do fancy art but instead does graphic design for a cosmetics company. She has a meet-cute with Benjamin Bratt, and Alex Borstein and her sassy gay coworker get all excited about her date with this handsome cop. But she has a mean boss ad people treat her like a doormat!
It’s like the pilot to a 90s NBC sitcom, in the Suddenly Susan/Just Shoot Me mold up to this point. Except instead of her reaching her breaking point and putting her foot down and becoming determined to prove that a single girl really can make it in the big city, she stumbles onto an evil plot by her bosses and they try to kill her and a group of magical cats bring her back to life, giving her cat powers and newfound confidence.
Her near death fucked up her plans to have coffee with Benjamin Bratt, so she goes to apologize and meets him where he’s proving his good guy charm by talking to a bunch of at-risk kids at an inner city school. This leads to a painfully long scene in which they sort of play basketball and sort of dance. And she jumps over him without a running start and nobody seems to be particularly surprised by that.
Then her neighbors play their music too loud so she breaks their door down and destroys expensive speakers because that’s a totally appropriate response. She then puts on a leather outfit, steals a motorcycle, foils a jewelry store robbery in progress, but decides to rob it herself anyway.
She meets an old crazy cat lady, who turns out to know the secret of the magical cats, who have given these powers to Catwomen throughout history. And she gets a Catwoman mask out of the deal.
This for some reason inspires her to to put on a different leather outfit, this one with shredded pants and a top that’s basically a bra.
Over the course of being dated by and investigated by Benjamin Bratt, she writes “sorry” on things and he notices that the handwriting looks similar. So he goes to lab tech guys to see if the handwriting is a match. The forensic guy says “it’s not an exact science” but points out that the first sample is from someone who is lonely and insecure, while the second is “confident, almost angry.” Which first of all, determining personality by handwriting is not a science at all, and more importantly, he asked if the two things matched, not “is the person who wrote this lonely?”
I’d heard Missy Peregrym made an uncredited apperance, so I figured there’d at least be that. But she plays “horrible side effects of makeup the FDA should not have approved.” She’s a face on a screen covered in chemical burns. So that’s disappointing.
A few actual positive things to say about this:
- Halle Berry is hot
- They take an interesting approach to the superpowered action scenes. It’s very dynamic CG, like the Raimi Spider-Man swinging through the city. For the very first action scene, when she is fully covered in black leather, it works pretty well and creates a nice effect making her look very agile. Later, when she goes to the much skimpier costume, it looks horribly fake, because the CG just makes her skin look super shiny.
- Sharon Stone is appropriately cast as the fashion model who used to be hot and famous but now she’s over 40 and nobody cares.
But that’s really it. Terrible, terrible movie.
0. I think this may just leave the second Ghost Rider movie, Elektra, and the Tom Jane Punisher? At least for the high-ish profile ones. I even saw Jonah Hex and Punisher: War Zone I should probably see two of those (not the Ghost Rider one). They can’t be this bad, at least.