Catwoman (Review)


Halle Berry as Patience Phillips/Catwoman
Benjamin Bratt as Tom Lone
Sharon Stone as Laurel Hedare
Lambert Wilson as George Hedare
Frances Conroy as Ophelia
Alex Borstein as Sally
Directed by Pitof

A movie destined to fail, 12 years after Michelle Pfeiffer starred as Catwoman in Batman Returns they finally crank out the spinoff. Except it’s not really a spinoff. We don’t know what it is, exactly, except painful. All of the Catwoman backstory from decades of DC comics is thrown right out, in favor os some multiple Catwomen throughout history garbage. I guess Pitof saw Catwomen of the Moon and decided he liked it. Or not. This movie was plagued with production premonitions of it’s terribleness. It took years to develop, and when Berry was finally signed, it looked like maybe there was something good going on. It was all lies and false hopes. The announcement they were ditching all Batman references was a bad sign, and then Catwoman was announced to not be Selena Kyle but instead the never heard of Patience Phillips. It wasn’t a complete wash yet….

Then the photos of the costume hit.

The movie had no hope. Some ridiculous S&M fetishist junk. I fact, most S&Mers wouldn’t be caught dead in that get up. How does that costume help you beat up people? With all the flipping around she does you’d think the main struggle wasn’t against evildoers but instead keeping her naughty bits covered. All of this can be blamed on the director, Pitof. Yes, Pitof, he fancies himself having only one name. That one name is now mud. They should scoop him out with the rest of the cat litter! Okay, I’ll try to tone down the cat jokes. If Pitof was half competent he’d have made a coherent film even if the backstory was screwed up, but he couldn’t even do that. A director is supposed to protect his artistic vision. Pitof’s vision tells us that he needs his eyes checked. Or gouged out. He’s no Uwe Boll, but he’s no Micheal Bay, either. I’d rate him slightly higher than Nico Mastorakis in terms of badness, but only because he doesn’t have a high volume of work to subject us to yet, and hopefully he never will.

That’s enough of that nonsense. On to the Movie! Starts in a montage of cat images, cat paintings, Egyptian pyramid carvings, news clips with cats and cat-dressed women. Specifically they show one breed of cat, the Egyptian Mau. I hope you enjoyed these images, as they will resurface.

Halle Berry narrates about how it all started the day she died, as that’s the day she started to live (At this point Pitof is picking cliches out of a hat to use) FLASHBACK! Patience Phillips (Berry) is a meek unconfident guy shy woman (yeah, right) who works for the ad department of beauty care company Hedare. Her friend is Sally (Alex Borstein from Mad TV) who can’t stop using the new product from Hedare, Beau-line. CEO George Hedare is introducing the new images to be used by Hedare to the corporate board, including a new model, as the former model and his wife Laurel Hedare (Sharon Stone!) is retiring, due to old age. George and Laurel don’t exactly have a healthy marriage. In fact, they are usually seconds away from killing each other (you’re not getting out of the movie that easily if WE have to sit through it!) Patience goes to see George, who yells at her as the ad campaign she designed is not up to snuff, and she gets a chance to fix it by tomorrow at midnight. Later that night Patience cannot sleep as the neighbors are having a rocking party. First of all, shouldn’t she be working on the ad campaign redesign? And second of all, when they went to her apartment there was a sweeping CGI shot of the city before it hit her place, as there was one earlier when they focused on the Hedare building. Knock it off, Pitof! As Patience tries to complain to the ignoring neighbors, she notices a cat on a motorbike down below. It’s one of those Egyptian Mau cats. This is called Foreshadowing, something Pitof likes alot, almost as much as CGI cityscape pans.

The next morning Patience is painting (I guess she’s called Patience because if you want her to do any work you have to have patience because she never gets around to it!) and the Mau cat shows up on the window yelling. She goes to get the cat, but it jumps up to a higher ledge. Patience goes outside to try to get the cat, and part of the window ledge falls away, trapping Patience outside. Police Officer Tom Lone (Benjamin Bratt) sees her and thinks she’s a suicide case and starts trying to talk her down. Patience is about to fall when he rushes up and grabs her. That makes her realize she’s late for her job, as all my near-death experiences where male cops catch me in their masculine arms do as well. Patience runs off, but leaves behind her wallet, which Lone finds.

A third CGI cityscape sweeps us to where George and Laurel are fighting again. Bad Pitof! Lone tracks Patience down to her work, then mentions some art things to sound smart, though he admits to Googling up some terms. (Actually not horrible dialog) He scores a date off her regardless, impressing her friend Sally and also the stereotypical super-duper-mega-ultra-gay office worker next to her. Soon it is near midnight and Patience has finally finished her work (Lesson: Don’t procrastinate or you will become Catwoman) and has to turn it in, which is at a building across town for some reason. The company must subscribe to the policy of random offices in buildings throughout the state. Another stupid CGI cityscape sweeps us across a bridge to the next building. Inside, Scientist Guy is showing that if you stop using the new Beau-line drug after long-term use your face disintegrates. Since Pitof is incompetent and gives away the real villain immediately, disguising it as foreshadowing, Laurel yells at Scientist Guy for having a conscience. Patience sees the GIGANTIC super-sized picture of the disfigured woman and freaks, knocking over things alerting her presence. Scientist Guy sends an Asian Goon he has working for him (Is that a NIH funded Asian Goon?) While Laurel sends her Driver after Patience as well. Driver pulls out a gun and starts shooting, but missing. As this company science building is also the City Sewer System, Patience runs down the gigantic pipes emulating Harrison Ford from The Fugitive, and is blasted into the river by a torrent of water unleashed by the Driver. Which gives Pitof another excuse to use horrible CGI city shots. Patience washes up on a random sandbar, and CGI cats swarm her (with a few real cats mixed in), the main CGI Egyptian Mau breathes in some CIG air and Patience’s CGI eyes CGI transform into CGI cat eyes.

Pitof loves CGI

Patience wakes up with weird freaky vision that looks like it was stolen from an acid trip, where birds heads become extreme close ups. If cats actually saw like this they’d all have panic attacks. Patience staggers home, and sleeps the night away on the top shelf of the bookshelf. She awakens the next morning, and the Egyptian Mau is still there, and she takes it to its owner, which is only a CGI city-sweep away (BAD PITOF!) The owner of the house is called Ophelia, who probably was written as Tari Garr, and acts like any stereotypical old spinster who used to be an Egyptologist acts. She tosses Patience a ball that Patience starts snorting obsessively, and Ophelia tells her it’s catnip (who didn’t see that coming…) Back at her job, Patience is getting chewed out by George for not turning in the ad designs. Patience goes off and yells at him, getting fired. Outside, her friend Helen collapses and is taken to the hospital. More foreshadowing.

Patience visits Lone, who is working at a youth center, and gets dragged into a one on one game with him in an improbable way, and proceeds to show off her new Catwoman moves to R&B rhythms. At that moment, Laurel and George are still fighting with each other. Exciting. Night comes, and Patience’s neighbors are having another loud party, and she smashes down the door, douses the speakers with beer shorting them out, and smacks around the owner.

Montage time, Patience gets a new ‘do, new leather threads, and takes some guy’s motorcycle. At a jewelry store, she sees some thieves inside and precedes to beat the tar out of them. Well, her CGI double does most the work, and there is body surfing on the thugs. Then she takes all the jewels for herself. The next morning she wakes up and returns the jewery, except an Egyptian necklace, and also includes some cupcakes for the police, which includes Long.

Patience Googles some cat information, showing us the pictures from the opening credits again. Then she goes to talk to the Crazy Cat Lady again, who says “I knew you’d come back, when you were ready” giving us her best Yoda. After Ophelia explains the rest of the plot, Patience has to find out who tried to kill her, as she cannot remember things that happened the night she died. She then finalizes her costume, and it ranks up there with the most impractical costumes ever. The whole thing also gives Pitof another excuse to use more CGI city shots as CGI Berry flips around. (BAD PITOF!)

Patience finds the Driver and follows him to a rave. She fits right in (and drinks cream – straight up). Catwoman puts on a whip show on the dance floor. This attracts the Driver, they head to the alley outside, and it’s fighting time, she bests him, does a lame “cat got your tongue” pun, then gets info about Beau-line having some problem.

Catwoman goes to see Scientist Guy, but he is already dead. A lab flunky sees her, and the murder is blamed on her. Enough of that problem, as Patience goes out on a date with Lone to a street fair. The merry-go-round they are riding malfunctions, but Lone climbs down and stops it, while Patience climbs out and saves some kid from falling. Then Catwoman goes hunting for George Hedare by breaking into his house, but only Laurel is home, and after a brief tussle, she tells Catwoman where George is, and gives Catwoman her phone. George is at a Cirque du Soleil rip-off show with the new spokeswoman for the company, and Catwoman catches up with him. She doesn’t have time to kill him, just threatened, when security and some cops arrive, including Lone. Lone must work on every case in the city. Catwoman and Lone have a fight up in the rafters above the stage for the Cirque du Soleil show, much like in A Night at the Opera, except not very good. They trade some sexual innuendo and then Catwoman escapes by taking out the lights.


George Hedare is PO’ed and Laurel eggs him on. He smacks her, but hurts his hand. It seems that using Beau-line for long term also gives you rock hard skin. Another Lone/Patience date, with grating dialog and sex afterwards. Lone finds a Catwoman claw on the floor of her apartment, so he grabs a glass of hers that has her lipstick on it, and at work uses a machine that seems to match pictures of lipstick stains to determine if she is Catwoman, using a photo of lipstick Catwoman left on him during the rafter fight. And it matches.

Meanwhile, Catwoman is called by Laurel Hedare, she says she has evidence against her husband. It’s a trap, George is dead with claw marks and gunshot wounds, and Laurel tosses Catwoman the empty gun, and sets off the alarm. Security guards rush in, and cops arrive instantly (including Lone, who does every police indicent in the city ever.) Catwoman manages to escape, but Lone is waiting for her back at her place, and arrests her. At the precinct, they interrogate her, she wants Lone to believe her story, but she gets tossed into lockup. Though she then shows why Hollywood women are all becoming so rail-thin — it’s so they can squeeze through jail cell bars! And she’s out!

Laurel pledges she will launch Beau-line on time, during a midnight release. Catwoman stops the delivery by hooking chains up to all five trucks. Lone confronts Laurel, gets some proof she’s guilty, and she shoots him in the chest. The gun is whipped away by Catwoman before she can get in a killshot. Catwoman pulls Lone out, fighting goons and the Driver. Goons are taken out left and right, and now it’s final battle time. Laurel’s invincible face is a match for Catwoman’s Catwomanness. Catwoman is about to fall out of the CGI window onto the CGI street below, as Laurel says “Game over!”

“Guess what? It’s overtime!” Catwoman replies, leaping around, and beating Laurel up. Laurel then falls out the window, grabs a bar, but falls to her death. So few films have the villain die by falling, this is a refreshing change. It’s happytime! Also wrap-up time! Everyone is happy, but Catwoman dumps Lone with an “It’s not you, it’s me” letter. Then….MORE CGI CITYSCAPE! NAARRGGH!! PITOF MUST DIE!

I’m not holding back on the puns anymore! This movie is a “cat”astrophe! It’s a “cat”astrophic dump in the litterbox, coughing up a furball would make a better plot, and I’ve seen better animated cat in Garfield and Friends. Between this and the Garfield movie, cats had a terrible year at the box office in 2004.

Rated 2/10

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2 thoughts on “Catwoman (Review)

  1. Great review! It’s nice to know that there is someone besides me who thinks Catwoman is a weird movie, and not in a good way.BTW, I love your name! The next time you see John Carter, please tell him I said hello.

    • Catwoman is insane and it is amazing how much the director got away with considering this was his first real movie (aside from Vidocq) and it was a supposed blockbuster, but I guess people got too impressed by random visuals to realize the whole thing was turning into a mega-fiasco. Maybe one day we’ll get a good Catwoman movie, one day far far in the future. Far in the future. Far.

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