It was supposed to be the beginning of a franchise. Instead, "Catwoman" is one of the most laughable movies of 2004... and that's not a good thing.
Halle Berry, who seems to be trying to steer clear of Oscar-worthy movies as best she can, stars as the title character, only she isn't the character from the comic books. Gone is Gotham City. Gone is any connection to Batman. Gone is Selina Kyle. Here, Catwoman's alter ego is Patience Phillips, a marketing designer for an evil beauty products corporation headed by Sharon Stone. As in "Batman Returns," our "hero" is murdered by her own company after discovering some bad things and eventually sets out to kill those who served injustice upon her, after being resurrected by a mythical cat. Yeah.
Okay, so bringing someone back to life with cats is rather cheesy, but somehow Tim Burton managed to pull it off in his classic superhero movie. Perhaps it was because Burton has imagination. Perhaps it is because "Batman Returns" was dark. Perhaps it was because Michelle Pfeiffer could kick Halle Berry's ass any day of the week. It also helps that the costume in "Batman Returns" was cool, whereas the one here is so ridiculously bad people were making fun of it months before "Catwoman" was released. Originally, "Catwoman" was supposed to be a direct spin-off of "Batman Returns" that starred Pfeiffer, or at least someone who could take on the role of Selina Kyle, the Catwoman from the DC comic books. That might have worked. Instead, someone came up with the bright idea to strip Catwoman of her identity, her setting, her costume and anything else that was good. Burton had vision; Pitof doesn't even have the right to be considered a director.
"Catwoman" is one of the worst movies ever made. The acting is bad, but the screenplay is worse. The story is terrible, and most things that happen make no sense. Even worse, it's boring. Even worse than that, the special effects are so bad they look like they were pulled right out of a Saturday morning cartoon. Pitof's direction style resembles that of McG's - insane, unintentionally goofy and ridiculous. He should never be allowed to direct a movie again.
Little need be said about "Catwoman." It is terrible from beginning to end. Had Pitof realized this upon inception, he could have at least made it a comedy, but the movie thinks it is serious and that's what makes it so pitiful. It isn't even recommended for the sole purpose of making fun of it.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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