Review: Catwoman

Year: 2004
Director: Pitof
Starring: Halle Berry, Sharon Stone, Benjamin Bratt

The origins of Catwoman, her relationship with a policeman, and a battle against an evil cosmetic manufacturer.

If you’ve made a bad action movie, you should at least try to repair it by putting a pretty woman in it, dressing her in seductive clothing, and prancing her around the screen. The creators of Catwoman got this part right. Unfortunately, they didn’t get much else right.

First, let’s talk about the positives. I’m not a big Halle Berry fan, but she does look mighty fine in this movie. She spends a decent portion of the movie in sliced up leather, which gives her a dominatrix look, and although it’s dopey as a superhero costume, it does work to turbo-boost her sex appeal. catwoman1.jpgHer character—with her diametrical internal struggle between shyness and assertiveness—is decently portrayed but overacted at times. For the women out there, Benjamin Bratt scored fairly high with my wife, so there is some visual value in this movie for female viewers as well.

Ok, done with the positives.

The movie itself tries hard to be likeable, but ultimately fails due to sloppy execution, scatty direction, and a dumb plot. Also, for the action fans: there isn’t a hell of a lot of solid action in this movie either.

Not much blows up, and the overall body count is very low. The movie does try at times to be an action film, and there are some fighting scenes where Catwoman does some nifty ultra-fast jumping around, but it’s nothing memorable. Sharon Stone, as the main villain whose skin has become stone-hard from cosmetic use, doesn’t help the cause much. She struck me more as a middlecatwoman2.jpg-aged woman pretending to be a supervillain, which is quite comical. As you can see from the screen shot to the right, Sharon Stone herself can’t stop from laughing at the situation either. Even more bizarre when you think about it is the final confrontation between her and Catwoman: Catwoman vs. Cosmetic Woman!

You might think I’m giving away too much of the story here, but I’m not: there really isn’t much of a story to give away. Now, a great story can be secondary in a great action movie, but even with a few beers swishing around in your brain, the plot to this movie has obvious holes in it. The story concept itself—an evil corporation making cosmetics that ultimately cause your skin to fall off if you stop using them—makes you wonder how bad the other story pitches were if this was the winner.

Oh, and one more thing! It ticks me off to no end in an action movie when a hero is magically and instantaneously transported without explanation or cause to another part of the world to arrive just in time to save the day. In Catwoman, the movie omnisciently and conveniently teleports Catwoman to the inside of a skyscraper on the other side of town. How did she get there? How did she know to go there? Sigh.

In conclusion, there are certainly worse action movies than Catwoman, but in almost every category it comes up short of good. From plot to acting to script to action, there is just something lacking here that leaves you unsatisfied at the end. The only reason I can see to watch this movie is to watch Halle Berry run around in leather, but even then it’s not worth having to watch the rest of the movie.

Fun Fact
From IMDB: The movie had to undergo re-shoots after testing poorly with screeners, with only a month left before the theatrical release date.

Pace: 40
Plot: 27
Action: 37
Consistent Premise: 23
Script/Quotes: 20
Characters: 60
Acting: 45
Villain: 15
Body Count: 10
Time to First Dead Body: 22 minutes
Babes: 76
Hunks: 74
Explosions: 0
Special Effects: 45
Stunts: 20
Ending: 30

Overall: 38 (Disposable)

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