Catwoman, the movie

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"It all started on the day that I died," is the ominous first line in this laughable film which itself arrives dead on arrival. Catwoman's initial failing is that it is narrated by a bored Halle Berry who doesn't even sound like she believes a word of what she's saying during that opening montage. "

"It all started on the day that I died," is the ominous first line in this laughable film which itself arrives dead on arrival. Catwoman's initial failing is that it is narrated by a bored Halle Berry who doesn't even sound like she believes a word of what she's saying during that opening montage.

That's, a big no-no, because if a movie's star won't bother to pretend, how can you expect the audience to buy into the fantasy?

I blame Pitof for this disaster. Who's Pitof? The film's director, a Frenchman so famous in his native country as a special effects editor, that he goes by only one name. The problem is that France isn't exactly known for state-of-the-art f/x and that Pitof obviously doesn't understand English very well.

As a result, he was unable to discern any of the subtle nuances which separate good from bad performances. And Catwoman's stale action sequences look a few generation old, and rather lame, especially if you've seen any installments of the Spiderman, X-Men or Matrix franchises.

Catwoman's saving grace is that it features Ms. Berry's body, whether bending over in her bust-baring outfit, squeezing her buttocks or breasts through bars during a ailbreak, or simply strutting her stuff as if a runway model up on a catwalk. Halle's make-up, however, leaves a lot to be desired, because somebody decided to give her thick, Groucho Marx eyebrows under her super-hero mask.

The film co-stars Benjamin Bratt, who is best-known for having dated Julia Roberts, and Sharon Stone, who remains best-remembered for crossing and uncrossing her legs sans panties in Basic Instinct. The only other character worthy of note is Sally (Alex Borstein), who steals every scene while overacting as that stereotypical, obnoxious, chubby best friend who's always sassy, horny and boy crazy.

At our point of departure, Halle is only homely Patience Phillips, a shy,  sensitive graphic designer dressed in sackcloth and employed by Hedare Beauty, Inc. The cosmetic conglomerate is deliberately about to unleash a new line of anti-aging products which it knows to be harmful. When Patience, perchance, discovers this plot, the Plain Jane is pushed into a vat of goo, dies and is transformed into a curvaceous super-vixen sporting fire engine-red lipstick.

With her former boss (Stone) now her arch enemy, a revived Patience finally has a reason for being, plus she develops the confidence to seduce an empty-headed lunkhead like patrolman Tom Lone (Bratt). Her love interest, of course, has a hard time figuring out that his girlfriend also happens to be Catwoman, even though she leaves claw marks on his backs after a night of passion.

A pointless, passionless, poorly-scripted picture. Not at all adult-oriented entertainment. At best a turn-on for pre-pubescent boys or a female empowerment flick for pre-menstrual little girls.

Poor (0 stars)
Rated PG-13 for cartoonish violence and incessant titillation.

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