Saturday, May 28

Movie Review - Catwoman


    I know it's a bit late, but I'm doing this review partly because Ann Hathaway is portraying Catwoman in the upcoming The Dark Knight Returns. Why not celebrate that by reviewing what might actually be the worst Batman related movie ever.

(Hathaway's promo shot as Catwoman)

    Before I get started, let me say that I know little about Catwoman. All my information on Catwoman comes from the Adam West Batman movie, Batman Returns, Lego Batman, and the little information I've gained from Linkara's comic reviews. As you would imagine, I don't exactly trust sources like Lego Batman and the Adam West series for what the characters are like in the comics. Anyway, let's get this over with.

(This is Catwoman, the pathetically cliche loser turned superhero)

    The opening credits shows us pictures of Egyptian maps and symbols, not sure why. Half-way through the credits, it starts showing pictures of the early 20th century. What's the connection? Pictures of cats - half the pictures shown have cats in them. Wouldn't it make more sense to show pictures of comics that feature Catwoman? Oh right, this is a bad movie, forget I asked.

    The actual movie starts with Halle Berry floating in the water, appearing unconscious. She narrates saying,
"It all started on the day that I died." She goes on about how her life was unremarkable before then, but after she died she began to live. Oh, and apparently her character name is Patience Phillips in this movie. The Catwoman in the comics is Selina Kyle, so if she has the wrong name, there's a slight possibility that this movie might not be very accurate to the source material. Either way, I'll just call her Catwoman to make things easier.

(Adam West Catwoman, played by Julia Newmar.
Much sillier portrayal than this movie, yet easier to take seriously.)

    The scene switches to some obnoxious moving shots of a city, where Catwoman is bumping into everyone she comes across. She's then sitting in a rather shiny looking office building - too shiny actually. Her friend complains about her eyes feeling weird, and then the next scene interrupts their little talk.

    A business owner, named George, is talking in front of his board in a very shiny, picture filled office. What's with this building and being overly shiny? Anyway, he owns a beauty product company which is about to release a product that can literally reverse the signs of aging, and his wife, Laurel, is the company's main model. Well, she was until they announced a new model within that very scene. So that's Catwoman's enemy in this movie? A beauty product company? Pretty sad when you think about it.

    Catwoman is walking down the hall with her friend toward George's office, talking about more pointless crap. After she enters his office, he says he's not pleased with her. Apparently she made an advertisement for him and he complains that the red isn't dark enough. So? Just throw it in Photoshop or something and darken the red - done! But no, apparently she has to start completely over just to darken the red. George gives her a day to redo it, because darkening red in Photoshop totally takes a full day to do.

    Cut to Catwoman having trouble sleeping because her neighbors are partying too loud. Have you ever heard of complaining to the cops? I'm sure they'll shut the party down. No, she hasn't apparently. Why should we care about such an incompetent main character? Anyway, she walks over to her window and shouts at them to turn the music down. Sorry, she doesn't shout, she talks softly at them, because talking quietly from across the road at people playing loud music is guaranteed to make them turn it down. She then sees a cat down on the street, staring at her.

 (Catwoman in Batman Returns, played by Michelle Pfeiffer.
A much darker and more interesting of the character)

    The next morning, Catwoman is painting, and the same cat shows up at her window. She leans out and finds the cat up on a window ledge. She thinks that the cat is stuck and climbs out to help it. She stands on an old, rusty external air conditioner - genius plan. Uh oh, it cracks and partially falls out the window, leaving our hero in quite the predicament.

    Some cop dude sees Catwoman hanging on for dear life and stops his car nearby. He stands out and talks to her as if she's suicidal despite her protests. I think this is supposed to be funny, but it's making me laugh about as much as much as when I was rejected for the first time. The air conditioning unit slips again, and the cop rushes up to her apartment. He reaches her just as the unit falls out, and he catches her the instant she loses her grip. A bunch of people clap - people that weren't on the street in the previous street shot, and the cop pulls Catwoman back inside. The cat walks through the apartment, because it got off the ledge on its own, and then they talk about how she's brave for trying to save someone else’s cat. He introduces himself as Tom, and then she runs for work and drops her wallet on the way.

    Another pointless zoom shot through the city later, and we're back at the beauty product building. One of the large pictures of the business man's wife/old model suddenly switches to the new model. What? That was a TV screen? What's the point of having a TV screen if it's going to have the same static image throughout the entire day? And why is the entire building covered in the same pictures of the current model? Wouldn't people get sick of it? Anyway, George also cancels all of his upcoming meetings with Laurel - suspicious, especially when he's talking like the douchbag he probably is. I don't know about you but I'm pretty sure Laurel's not very happy about how her life's been going lately.

    Tom shows up in the office building where Catwoman works, and several people, including a guy, stare at him in amazement. Why? He's just a cop - what's so impressive about him? Catwoman introduces Tom to her friend as the cop she told her about earlier. Wouldn't you be more creeped out by the fact that Tom showed up just to say hi. He gives her back her wallet, but sticks around for a little chat. Rather than being creeped out though, she's flattered and they decide to have coffee later. Ugh this is stupid.

    We cut to, ugh, a fast-forwarding shot through the office, where Catwoman is the only one moving at regular speed. It stops at what's supposed to be approaching midnight, yet it kind of looks like there's daylight sneaking through the windows. She receives a call telling her to deliver the advertisement...I think. She drives to another fancy looking building and tries to enter; only it's locked. Rather than finding a doorbell, she quietly asks,

    "Is anybody in there?" How stupid can you be? Are you really so dense or shy to rely on anything but quietly asking for stuff when no-one could possibly hear you?

    Anyway, Catwoman finds a restricted access door that isn't locked and leads straight to a storage area. Whoever owns this building has the tightest security ever seen. She continues walking into a huge laboratory/chemical storage/whatever the frick this place is. Meanwhile, the Laurel is talking to some guy we've never seen before about some rather nasty side effects to their beauty products. Catwoman finds them, and alerts them to her presence after stumbling onto a table. She runs out the door, only to find a security guard closing on her position. Oh, so this place does have security? Who would have thought?

    Two security guards find Catwoman's shadow in another large storage room, even though there was only one before. One of them politely says they only want to ask her some questions, but the second she pops out, the other fires his gun. What the frick? It's like the security guard was so bipolar that he somehow split into two separate physical beings. Anyway, Catwoman runs into some large pipe room with red lights and the bipolar security guard starts firing his gun wildly. As always with these movies, his aim is horrid. Catwoman runs into a piped hallway and stumbles into some wet ramp that she slides down. There's an open pipe at the bottom of the ramp that she crawls into just before the two security guards show up again. Wait, they were separate in the red pipe room, now they're together again? There's nothing consistent about this movie so far.

    The guards seal the pipe shut with the push of a button to the side. We then see Catwoman running through the pipe, and air suddenly starts shooting at her. My guess is that this is where she supposedly dies, and thanks to the opening narration there's no tension here. She runs to the end of the pipe, which is over a body of water. Water suddenly shoots out of the pipe, blasting her into the water. Yup, I called it.

    Next up, a full minute of seeing Catwoman's dead body floating in the water intercut with an obviously CGI cat. Then we see Catwoman's body on rocks, and hundreds of cats are gathering around her body. The CGI cat walks on her body and breathes on her, waking her up...somehow. Catwoman sits back up, and all the cats are gone. Her vision is apparently much better as she sees objects larger than she used to. Is cat vision really that special? She's also moving around all twitchy. She walks back home and leaps onto her balcony before smashing through her window. As weird as Catwoman's transformation in Batman Returns was, at least parts of it made dramatic sense. In that movie, catwoman smashed her apartment because she was tired of her current life. Here, Catwoman's smashing through her window when she could just open it, and she doesn't destroy anything else.

    Catwoman wakes up to Tom calling her from the coffee shop, saying he has to get back to work. Ha ha, you missed your date you pathetic little kitty. Anyway, she finds the weird cat in her apartment again and finds an address on its collar. She finds the house on the address - a single, small building in-between a bunch of very tall buildings. Holy crap! That property must be worth a fortune. Some woman opens the door and invites Catwoman in. Despite being late for work, Catwoman decides to wander in, and is greeted by literally dozens of cats. For a crazy lady, this woman looks fairly normal.

    The cat lover describes the cat that Catwoman brought back as a very rare breed with special powers. The cat lover then tosses Catwoman a ball, and she starts rubbing it all over her face. Apparently it's catnip, and this movie has officially lost me.

    Catwoman goes back to work, only to be greeted by a shouting George in front of her peers. Meanwhile, Catwoman is ignoring him as she's drawing...something. She apologizes to George, who says that sorry isn't enough. Catwoman says she's sorry for working for such scum as him and is fired. I have to admit, that scene kind of works, showing that she has new mood swings that she's not used to. As she tries to apologize, her co workers applaud her loudly. OK, the applause was stupid.

    Catwoman and her friend are walking down the street - wait, did she get fired too? If not, than she shouldn't be walking on the streets during business hours. Anyway, Catwoman hisses at two barking dogs and then stares at a very expensive necklace in a store window. Her friend randomly faints and the movie cuts to the hospital after she's undergone a bunch of tests. This movie jumps around more than a cat.

    Speaking of which, the movie cuts to Tom speaking to a bunch of kids at a school. Does this guy ever do any real police work? So far we've only seen him stalking artists, waiting at a coffee shop, and talking to kids. Catwoman shows up and gives him a coffee cup with the word "Sorry" written on it. Is that Catwoman's apology or the director's apology for this piece of crap movie?

    They talk about pointless stuff as the kids play basketball outside, until the kids challenge the two adults to play 1 on 1. One guess as to what happens. Anyone? My guess is that she creams him with her new powers. Yeah, they play, bumping into each other sexually in front of the kids to overly cheesy pop music. That's really family friendly, I'm sure the teachers and parents will approve of this seductive basketball play. Anyway, Catwoman wins with a dunk - apparently one basket is enough to finish a 1-on-1 game. Otherwise, this movie is so predictable.

    Laurel is angrily looking at pictures of the company's new model as she catches George walking on the street with the new model, and crushes a glass cup with her bare hand. She then looks at her hand, which is perfectly intact. Either this movie doesn't understand the physics of glass (common mistake there,) or she's got some sort of super strength/durability. Either way, we already know who the main antagonist is, and we don't even know why yet. Also, we're 40 minutes in and the only action scene so far was a boring chase through an unidentified building. I'm so bored right now.

    We now see Catwoman eating cat food on her bed, because we so haven't got the hint that she's like a cat now. She gets a call from her work friend, whose standing at a desk in the hospital. What? Why is she not in a hotel bed? And if she's able to stand up, why isn't she back at work yet? There's no explanation as to why she's neither in a hospital bed nor at work. It's here that we learn Catwoman has another planned date with the cop. Oh come on! I was hoping that this would at least be a bad superhero movie, not a chick flick.

    Catwoman is again kept awake by the partying neighbors.  She walks over to the window and yells at them. Congratulations, you've made a step up from politely talking at the overly loud neighbors; now call your cop friend Tommy to deal with them. It's also pretty stupid that everyone's standing in exactly the same position as the last time they kept Catwoman awake. Must be a lame party if everyone has assigned standing positions. Anyway, they tell her to "get a life," so she storms over to their apartment, knocks down the door, and leaps onto a table. She grabs some beer dispensing tube and shoots it at the speakers to destroy them. This apartment looks more like a bar than anything else. You'd think such a place would get busted a long time ago, considering how Catwoman lives in a somewhat nice apartment next door and there would surely be others living nearby. Anyway, Catwoman kicks one of the guys into another table and asks everyone to keep quiet - and then she leaves. What? No fight scene? Knocking one guy back was enough to scare all 15 drunk people in that apartment? That's like scaring the entire yukuzo gang network by pushing one gangster down the stairs from behind.


    Catwoman then invades her closet and pulls out a box. Inside, there's a leather suit. She then cuts her hair, puts on the leather jacket and pants, and starts riding around in her motorcycle. This scene is complete with sickening shaky cam and even more sickening pop music. She stops by the store with the fancy necklace from earlier and stares. She then sees a thief through the window and smiles. Oh, so this is a fully heroic Catwoman rather than the half hero-half villain that she's supposed to be? Well, at least we finally have the movie's first real action scene.

    Catwoman ends up fighting three armed jewelry store robbers, by climbing all over the walls and balconies before jumping onto the floor and repeatedly spin kicking them. Again, all this is set to annoying pop music with incredibly fake looking CGI. She beats up the three thieves and steals everything in the store. OK, so I guess she is half-criminal. What makes this scene even worse though is she actually repeats the purr gag from the Adam West series, and it's painfully out of place here.

    Catwoman wakes up, confused at all the riches by her bed, and bags everything but one ring and the expensive necklace she was staring at earlier. The movie then cuts to Tom talking to the jewelry store owner, describing that same necklace as one of a kind. Finally, some actual police work. It only took them half the movie to show him doing his job. But oh crap, is she going to wear that on her upcoming date, only for him to realize she was the thief? No, we actually never see the necklace again...WHAT WAS THE POINT? Also, why doesn't this store have any security cameras? Is there a total lack of security equipment in this stupid universe?

    Tom then find a paper bag with most of the jewelry inside, and the word "Sorry" written on it. Beside the bag lies a box of cupcakes. I don't know, just roll with it.


    Catwoman is now looking up cat women on Google, because there are plenty of women with cat powers in real history. Believe it or not, that's actually true in this fictional universe. She finds a picture of a cat very much like the one that hung around her apartment earlier in the movie, and decides to go back to the cat lover's house. Here we learn that this cat lover has an entire library in her house, and that she was a professor for 10 years before she was kind of fired. So she's been unemployed for years now and yet she has a giant library house in between a bunch of apartment buildings? How does she afford that place? Never explained.

    Anyway, the crazy cat person explains that Catwoman is now a catwoman, and then gives her an old cat mask. The movie needed three minutes to explain that, even though we already knew pretty much everything that the crazy woman explained. This movie's dragging so much that it's starting to remind me of Bride of the Monster.

    We then see Catwoman wearing her costume for the movie, which makes her look more like a dominatrix than a cat. So do I call her domownatrix now? Sorry, couldn't resist.


    Catwoman starts jumping around the city with incredibly fake looking CGI and more sickeningly cheesy music. The music finally ends when she finds the bipolar security guard (the one that shot at her earlier) meeting someone at a shipping dock. She then follows him into a bar. She orders a White Russian without ice or vodka or coffee - in other words, cream. YOU COULD HAVE JUST ORDERED MILK YOU...know what, screw it. She ends up on the dance floor, complete with lighting that's sure to give people seizures. She reaches the bipolar guard and kicks him outside, where they have a short, boring fight scene. The only noteworthy element to this scene is that it's sickening to watch, thanks to the horrible shaky cam and the bad pop music.

    After a short interrogation, Catwoman heads into an office building, finds a dead body, and leaves. Well, that seemed pointless.

    The next morning, Catwoman visits her friend in the hospital and oh look, she's in a hospital bed now, and she's not really getting any better. Strange, she was feeling better before. The TV shows that Catwoman is accused of murder, and then the business man says that their beauty product will launch as planned. Considering that a cat-like woman is already accused of a jewelry robbery, this is kind of pointless. Catwoman then throws out her friend's makeup and tells her it's making her sick, and the scene's over.

    Next up, we see Tom with the paper bag from the jewelry store, and the "sorry" cup that Catwoman gave him. He looks at the word "sorry" on both of them, and it's written exactly the same. He gets one of his cop friends to check the two written apologies. I have no idea how, but the cop friend can figure out the mood of the person who wrote something, and somehow comes to the conclusion that the two "sorry" notes were written by different people, despite being in the exact same shape. Words fail me.

    We then see Catwoman and Tom in some fair, throwing balls at bottles.  He asks her if she knows anyone that hates George, and she says many people hate him. That's the scene - can't this movie stay focused on one thing for even a minute?

    Pretty soon, the couple rides a ferris wheel and gets stuck at the very top. The ride's gears start breaking, making this the weakest excuse for a superhero action scene I've ever seen. Tom begins to climb down toward the ground, even as the thing starts shaking - GENIUS! Meanwhile, Catwoman notices an annoying kid constantly yelling for his mom, and his harness is breaking. Oh no, not the annoying kid who's asking his helpless mother to help him - somebody do something! Oh right, this is a superhero movie, someone will do something. Catwoman runs after him and catches him just as he falls - predictable. The gears start spinning wildly and yet the ferris wheel only shakes some more. You'd think it would either continue moving or fall on its side but why bother making sense now? Tom reaches the gearbox and shoves a wrench inside; somehow this saves everybody. Why didn't the ride operator know how to do this? Is the cop suddenly James Bond? Anyway, they congratulate each other and the movie cuts to the next scene.

    Catwoman breaks into George's mansion and looks around. Once again this building has no security. She's struck from behind by Laurel, and they fight for ten seconds complete with more horrible CGI, followed by Laurel telling Catwoman where George is. Cut to some artsy stage show, where George is watching on a balcony with his new model. Why doesn't Laurel divorce the butthead already, she'll get a good settlement since he's openly cheating on her. Even so, he annoys the model out of the booth, and Catwoman confronts him after.


    A bunch of cops start flooding the audience, and Catwoman leaps onto the stage. That's the perfect thing to do if cops are looking for you, go where everyone will find you. The audience claps since they think Catwoman is a part of the show, ugh. Tom soon finds Catwoman, and they have a weird fight that I think is supposed to look sexy but it's just silly. She ends up surrounded by a dozen cops, but she fries the building's fuse box and escapes off camera. I would complain, but the lack of an escape sequence means less bad CGI and bad pop music to sit through. Either way, I'm starting to get tired of talking about this movie' so I'll just sum up the rest of this movie.

    It turns out that George and Laurel were both bad guys. Laurel kills George and frames Catwoman, who is arrested by Tom shortly after. She's locked in a cell, but is able to squeeze through the bars to escape - lamest escape scene ever. Somehow, Tom figures out that Catwoman isn't the killer and tricks Laurel into confessing. Here we learn that Laurel has been using this new beauty product, and it makes her almost invincible as long as she's using it, but her skin will dissolve once she stops. That makes no fricken sense, even in the world of superhero movies. Anyway, Catwoman and Laurel fight, Catwoman wins and Laurel falls to her death, therefore contradicting the invincibility thing. For no real reason, Catwoman breaks up with Tom even though they appeared to be in love after the non climax. That's pretty much it.

    Seriously though, who was this movie made for? Catwoman is primarily considered a Batman villain/anti-hero, so why make a movie about her? She had nothing to do with the comic version of the character, so fans of the character will be angered by this movie. The dominatrix outfit was obviously supposed to bring in the younger male crowd, but it looks more stupid than it does sexy. The horrible pop music littered throughout the movie will make any self respecting young male sick to their stomachs, so it's like you're dragging them into the movie just to make them vomit right back out. It might appeal to pre-teen girls, but none of the marketing was thrown at them. As a Superhero movie, it's boring, as a chick flick, it has a downer ending where Catwoman randomly breaks up with Tom. As a bad movie, it's boring. I guess the answer is nobody; this movie was made for nobody, and I can't recommend it. And why is Tom investigating both jewelry store robberies and murders, I'm pretty sure those are different police divisions.

(Good wholesome family entertainment)

    Two Word Review - sickeningly boring

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