Batmania Part 8: ‘Catwoman’

In 2004 Catwoman may have seemed like a good idea at the time. Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry? Great! An untested director with mostly special effects experience? Okay. Spin-off from a movie franchise that died seven years before? A bit risky. $100 million budget? Oh, dear. Sharon Stone as the villain? Oh, crap.

Catwoman went on to become a huge bomb (total international box office gross: $74 million) and earned a whopping seven Golden Razzie award nominations (Worst Picture, Director, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Couple and Screenplay) and left Batman fans (and everybody else) wondering why this film was even made. Thankfully Batman Begins would arrive in theaters the following year and most people would forget that Catwoman ever happened.

But it did happen. And seeing how I’ve reviewed the good, the bad, and the campy, I’m including Catwoman as part of the Batman film canon (even though this film has nothing to do with the Batman mythology and just uses the Catwoman name to tell a completely unrelated story).

courtesy Warner Bros.

courtesy Warner Bros.

What’s it about? Patience Phillips (Halle Berry) is a frumpy graphic designer working for Hedare, a cosmetics empire about to launch a new product called Beau-Line. She stumbles upon some unflattering information about Beau-Line (it’s toxic!) and is whacked because she knows too much. A bunch of CG cats resurrect her and now she has cat-like abilities, like landing on all fours and hissing at dogs.

After visiting a cat expert/creepy old lady (Frances Conroy), Patience discovers she’s a Catwoman. She dresses up in kinky S&M leather and both fights and commits crime. She’s all messed up inside, you see.

Benjamin Bratt plays Tom Lone, a cop who’s not only Patience’s boyfriend, but determined to put Catwoman behind bars. Oh, the irony–Patience and Catwoman are the same person!

The plot thickens when Catwoman is framed for killing the president of Hadare, George Hadare (Lambert Wilson, who delivers the exact same performance he did in The Matrix Reloaded as the Merovingian). The real killer? George’s wife, Laurel (Sharon Stone, vamping it up every step of the way), who wants to launch Beau-Line even though it kills people! (Damn you, capitalistic greed!)

What’s good about it? This is one of those films that, just when you think it could not get any more ridiculous, surprises you in new and preposterous ways. It’s replete with bad acting, bad directing (the single-named Pitof relies so heavily on special effects that they’re anything but special) and a truly terrible script. It’s a gloriously awful train wreck that’s laugh-out-loud funny (albeit unintentionally).

What’s bad about it? See above paragraph.

Perfect for: People who love their super heroes to have a “you go, girl!” attitude.

One final note: I have to give props to Halle Berry for being such a good sport about being in such a bad movie. After watching this highlight reel from her acceptance speech at the Golden Razzie awards, she deserves to keep her Oscar.

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One Response to “Batmania Part 8: ‘Catwoman’”

  1. Review: ‘Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen’ – It really is as bad as you’ve heard « yikbo: mostly movies | Movie Reviews | Trailers | Netflix Recommendations Says:

    […] I like a truly awful movie, like Catwoman, a film so bad you constantly say to yourself, “there is no way that this movie could get any […]

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