What the Hell Were They Thinking?!

Well… at least Halle looks good. Academy Award winner Halle Berry, Benjamin Bratt, Lambert Wilson and Academy Award nominee Sharon Stone star in Catwoman.

CatwomanCast of Characters:
Patience Phillips/Catwoman – Halle Berry
Det. Tom Lone – Benjamin Bratt
George Hedare – Lambert Wilson
Ophelia Powers – Frances Conroy
Sally – Alex Borstein
Laurel Hedare – Sharon Stone

Director – Pitof
Screenplay – John Brancato, Michael Ferris & John Rogers
Based on characters created by Bob Kane & Bill Finger
Producer – Denise Di Novi & Edward McDonnell
Rated PG-13 for action violence and some sensuality

Patience Phillips (Halle Berry) is a meek, mild-mannered graphics designer for a Hedare Beauty, a cosmetics company that’s soon to release a new, age-reversing skin cream called Beau-Line. Patience, unfortunately finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong when she overhears a discussion between a scientist and Laurel Hedare (Sharon Stone), the wife of company owner George Hedare (Lambert Wilson), on the dangerous side effects from the continued use of the product. When Laurel’s guards discover Patience, they’re ordered to “take care of the matter”. Patience tries to escape through a conduit pipe, but they’ve sealed it and flushed her out, drowning her.

Lying on the shore all pathetic and lifeless – much like this film – Patience is mysteriously brought back to life by an Egyptian Mau cat. With the guidance of the Mau’s owner, Ophelia Powers (Frances Conroy), Patience learns that she has been reborn as “Catwoman”, and will avenge the wrongs committed against her using the new powers she’s been bestowed – superhuman reflexes, the ability to land softly on your feet from high places, a smug sense of self-worth, an abhorrent feeling of ingratitude toward owners and a defiant desire to spray over every damn piece of furniture whenever you damn well please.

Naturally, with these great powers come weaknesses of water in any form and a devastating fear of vacuum cleaners.

I’m just kidding, none of that is true – oh, never mind. Look at that. Patience is, in fact, afraid of rain now… Well, isn’t that cute. Might as well have had her raise up her hind end and blast out a steamy territorial marking on Benjamin Bratt’s leg.

Catwoman commits a great crime against humanity. It pits Sharon Stone against Halle Berry in a skimpy-attired cat-fight, yet paint drying manages to be more erotic, exciting and entertaining.

Shame on the not-so creative minds behind this for doing such a thing.

The premise to Catwoman is quite simple: Halle Berry looking good in a leather suit. In fact, this film is so stupid simple, would any of us honestly be shocked if it turned out that the script looked a little something like this…

BEGIN OPENING CREDITS

INT. ROOM – NIGHT
Halle Berry looks good in a skin-tight leather outfit.

HALLE BERRY
Purrrr!

BEGIN CLOSING CREDITS

Of course, that’s not all. The folks over at Warner Bros. knew that you can’t make a movie solely on just shots of Halle Berry strutting around in a sex cat costume. They needed a plot to pad this film out, so they basically slapped on a poor man’s Mary Kay scandal as the film’s driving conflict. Never before has Warner Bros. stooped so low in handling their DC properties.

Wait a minute, Benjamin. You’re actually saying this is worse than Batman & Robin and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace? You’re damn right I’m saying it’s worse (though the margin between them is practically microscopic). Both Superman IV and Batman & Robin are, no doubt, crappy and at the very bottom of the comic book film barrel, but if there’s any defense I can give them in comparison to this slightly greater evil it’s that their plots don’t hinge on an evil bottle of Olay.

Director Pitof, who I believe on his off days works as a Middle Eastern rice dish, and – you gotta be shitting me, three writers?!!! It took three writers to write what any horny, pubescent kid could fan-fiction the hell out of like it’s nothing before furiously masturbating to their written masterpiece?!

Anyway, Pitof and his dream team of writers strain harder than is humanly possible to stretch out what is essentially a series of shots of Halle Berry looking hot into a full feature-length film, and it’s impossible for them to fail any worse. Catwoman is a tricky type of character to handle, one that can either work like a charm or stink up your film. The trifecta of Julie Newmar, Eartha Kitt and Lee Meriwether fit the campy tone of the TV series and its movie. Michelle Pfeiffer’s saucy portrayal fit Tim Burton’s bizarro world like a glove, and Anne Hathaway’s femme fatale cat burglar in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises also worked. I’m not sure what the hell Pitof was going for here. Berry’s Catwoman is less a moniker for her character and more a state of being.

Hey, look at that. She likes raw fish and tuna! Get it? Hey, guys!! Get it?! ‘Cause she’s a cat.

Imagine if in Spider-Man Tobey Maguire caught Green Goblin, then wrapped the villain entirely in a silk cocoon and stored him in his sticky web to save him later for dinner.

‘Cause that’s what spiders do.

Or, keeping things strictly DC related, does Bruce Wayne shit guano?

Not a single aspect of this film works. The chemistry between Halle Berry and Benjamin Bratt is flatline. Sharon Stone as the villain is, at best, laughable (coincidentally, the name of Berry’s character in The Flintstones was Sharon Stone). I’ve seen better CGI in even the shittiest Atari game, and the action sequences, which are chopped up into a million little millisecond cuts, are so incoherent and nauseating it makes the worst example of shaky-cam look like Birdman.

Worst of all the unforgivable wrongs committed here is Halle Berry’s performance. She is absolutely atrocious. That’s not an exaggeration either. Her performance is horrible beyond words, and I can’t think of any other post-Oscar win fall from grace that’s as tragic as hers. For starters, as hot as the suit looks, all that exposed flesh has to make it the least useful superhero costume ever built. Secondly, Berry’s trying way too hard to be sexy. I know what you’re thinking. Someone like Berry obviously has to bend over backwards to just even look appealing. As much as it’d be easy to just throw the blame at the writers for giving her such horrendous dialogue to choke on, Berry deserves every bit of blame hurled her way for the God awful delivery she gives to each line. Every “purr”, “meow” and dopey cat-related pun that oozes out of that mouth of hers manages to do what I thought couldn’t ever be done: Turn a beautiful woman into a cringe-inducing nightmare.

In the end, it doesn’t matter how good Halle Berry looks in skin-tight leather. Catwoman is a studio-packaged turd so mindless, so soulless and so vomit-inducing gaudy you could multiply Berry’s sex appeal by infinity and it still would fall far, far short of redeeming this colossal failure. All the combined forces of every brand of the world’s strongest scented kitty litters would be no match in combating the foul stench emanating from this crap-heap of a film.

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