so much potential yet so bad
In a world where cosmetic company executives are megalomaniacal jerks with no ethics…. wait that’s our world.
In a world where all the women think Benjamin Bratt is super hot… wait, still our world.
In a world where Halle Berry’s coworkers give her leather outfits for birthday presents… wait, probably our world again.
I’ve got it this time!
In a world where everyone’s favorite Catwoman is Patience Phillips (yeah definitely not our world) come along for a journey that could have been good but went as sour as a cat’s milk bowl left alone for a month.
Slick Dungeon here and I watch bad movies so you don’t need to. This week I put my eyeballs through Catwoman. I’ll give you a quick plot description and then I have some suggestions for this thing. So DC executives, if you are reading this, meet me at any time with lots of money and I’ll be happy to discuss further.
This film is about a meek woman named Patience Phillips who wants to be an artist but ends up working for a beauty company and making ads for them. The owner of the company is an evil jerk and his wife is even worse. See this beauty product is addictive and if you stop using it, your skin turns to rotted flesh. But also, if you keep using it, apparently you have some kind of super hard skin because, science.
Patience accidentally stumbles onto this evilness by trying to turn in her work at midnight in an off limits section of the office that she has no trouble walking through. The executive promptly kills Patience by flushing her out of a sewer pipe that is way too high up on the building to be realistic.
It’s not all bad news for Patience though because earlier in the day, she tried to rescue a cat outside of her building. As she was doing this, a cop named Tom Lone sees her and thinks she’s about to jump. So he rescues her by running up the stairs in a big apartment complex in under five seconds, going through her door which I have to assume was unlocked and catching her. They hit it off obviously.
Obviously also, is that the cat is a demigod cat who gives Patience cat CPR to revive her after she is flushed out into the water. So now Patience is not dead and she totally has the powers of a house cat. Okay, I’ll be generous, maybe it’s the powers of an outdoor cat. But Patience now has a memory gap.
She spends the next day doing things that are odd like you know, eating a ton of tuna, quitting her job, jumping around more than normal and having quicker reflexes than one would expect. I think this was also where she broke a date with Tom the police officer. Then in the evening she robs some jewelry and also beats up other jewel robbers. She decides to return the jewels and she writes the word sorry on it.
The next day she has a date with Tom in which she plays basketball according to no rules in any basketball game but apparently cats can dunk. With the help of very heavy editing. At one point she hands him a cup that says sorry on it.
While all the women stare at Tom because he is hot, he seems pretty dumb because he can’t put two and two together nor can he recognize Patience as Catwoman even though you can see most of her face. But that’s a DC problem not a Catwoman specific problem.
The rest of the movie is basically Patience figuring out that the beauty executive’s wife knows all about the evil beauty product and she’s willing to kill to make sure the thing goes on the market. It’s also about Officer Tom really being a bad detective and not understanding handwriting or evidence of any kind at any point until someone confesses to his face. There’s also a part where Patience meets her own personal Yoda. This is a crazy cat lady who somehow owns a huge place with tons of precious artifacts despite the fact that she had to quit teaching because she couldn’t gain tenure at a university due to sexist jerks. But you know, she does have the whole demigod cat thing living with her, so it evens out. She’s able to confirm that Patience is one of the “Catwomen” because she tosses catnip at Patience, who then rubs it all over her face. That’s apparently the test.
We get to see a fight between Halle Berry as Catwoman and Sharon Stone as Laurel Hedare who is just a woman with tough skin that looks younger than you would expect. Catwoman wins. Spoiler. Then Tom tries to get Patience to hang around and go steady with him but Patience is like, ” You see, sometimes I’m good. Oh, I’m very good. But sometimes I’m bad. But only as bad as I wanna be. Freedom is power. To live a life untamed and unafraid is the gift that I’ve been given, and so my journey begins.”
At that point we all know that there will never, ever, ever be a sequel to this train wreck and none of us mind.
But here’s the thing with this movie. It could have been good! There are parts that might have been interesting. Patience lives in a part of Gotham we don’t see very much. It’s where the real privilege in the city is and she’s just a basic worker there. We don’t have to have Batman to see that. They could have used the worlds favorite Catwoman, Selina Kyle. Halle Berry still could have played the character of Selena no problem.
And there was absolutely no need to give Catwoman supernatural powers. She is a cat burglar, not a freaking cat.
The villain was coming from a different angle than the weird and wonderful world of the Joker but could have been just as terrifying by really getting away with anything just by having money. It also would have been nice to just see Bruce Wayne somewhere in there and we could see that even Batman is not all powerful when it comes to the wealthy and that would have been really interesting.
Catwoman is supposed to operate in a gray area but Patience just seems wishy washy instead.
And while the performances could have been better, I honestly don’t think this one was Halle Berry’s fault. Yes, she had some terrible lines but she did not write the script. Yes, she delivered some lines really badly but the director didn’t choose to put in a better take. Also, she had a really good sense of humor about the whole thing. If you doubt me, watch her acceptance speech for her Razzie (be warned there is foul language) – it’s the best one I have ever seen. If you have to be in a bad movie, this is the way to be gracious about it.
So to sum up, next time you want to make a movie, DC, come and talk with me first. It’s going to prevent you from making a terrible mistake and it’s going to gain me lots of money so everyone wins.
I hope you enjoyed my review of Catwoman. If you did come back next week when I review Robot Monster. It’s gotta be better than Monster Robot right?