Final Villain: 1/10
This ruins Catwoman. If that’s all you read, then it’s all you need to know. If you want to continue on, then might I suggest Exhibit #1: Halle Berry. In whose drugged up fantasy was she the ideal choice to play this part? But don’t forget Exhibit #2: Sharon Stone. She chose to play a part where the character’s invulnerability comes from make-up, and that’s her problem. Which brings me to Exhibit #3: A giant make-up scandal? Were they trying to make this movie unwatchable? I’m getting ahead of myself, though, so I’ll back up and start from the beginning.
We begin our tail (Cat puns right off the bat? Sweet.) with a sweet and shy office jockey named Patience Phillips, a name which by all accounts would be too horrible to put in a comic book. Patience is the exact opposite of what Catwoman should be, and you can bet that Halle Berry thought she could pull off both roles with her spunky haircut and underwhelming acting skills. She can’t. Patience is quickly killed through a series of coincidences that wind her up in a place she shouldn’t be, looking at things that she shouldn’t see. Don’t worry though, because a “mysterious” cat finds her corpse and brings her back to life with the added bonus of cat-like powers (and the ability to wield a whip, which I don’t understand). What’s a working girl to do except go on a little crime spree?
Well, life isn’t all milk saucers and manicures, and soon the thief known as Catwoman is framed for a murder that she didn’t commit. Sassy. While her alter-ego’s life is starting to get interesting, the newly-inspired Patience is out dating the policeman who is in charge of the Catwoman case. Sidebar: I’m in support of Benjamin Bratt as much as the next Demolition Man fan, but he needs to stop being the “hunky bachelor cop with a heart” in every movie he comes across. His character, Tom, is captivated by the Catwoman, but enchanted by Patience, and that is about as deep as his character gets. Tom begins to notice some strange behavior from Patience (like jumping around a ferris wheel like it was a set of monkey bars), and eventually uses his slow man-brain to figure out her big secret. In a dramatic twist, he arrests her, and the future of their relationship is uncertain. That’s the big ending of the second act, and that is just plain kitty doo-doo.
Up to this point, Sharon Stone’s character, Laurel Hedare (???), has proven to be a manipulative and conniving bitch. She’s gotten the Catwoman arrested, killed her husband in the process, and has just taken over his multi-million dollar make-up company. Well, Patience finally decides to let the Catwoman take over, and now that she’s been made aware that Laurel is the person who killed her in the first place, she sneaks out of prison and confronts the wicked witch for a final showdown. She’s in for a shock, however, because the years of using toxic make-up have given Laurel invincibility somehow! There is seemingly no way to hurt her, until Catwoman inadvertently scratches some of the make-up off her cheek. She then loses all of her steam, falls out of a window, and gives the old “I would rather die than be saved by you” death that absolves the protagonist of any moral or ethical questions responsibility. Patience breaks up with Tom shortly thereafter, and begins her new life as Catwoman, roaming the rooftops with her trusty whip. And no Batman.
The idea that Catwoman’s biggest dilemma in the movie was whether or not she could date some detective (who was NOT wearing a cape) is an insult to the character and the fans. It’s obvious that this was created to try to attract women to the comic book movie genre, but it just condescends to the viewer and makes the titular (heehee) character look weak. Though, Halle Berry doesn’t help with that, either. I didn’t like her as Storm, regardless of whatever hairstyle she thought would look “spunky”, and I certainly don’t think that showing her boobs in Swordfish made up for The Flintstones or BAPS. This movie should be avoided at all cost, because it really is the most terrible kind of bad movie out there. True, romantic comedies and dramas hurt me like kryptonite, but this is so forced and gender-biased that it belongs on the Lifetime network at 3 a.m. and nowhere else. If you choose to watch this and ignore my warning, then you are either incredibly brave or incredibly stupid. Or both. Do yourself a favor and just watch all of the Michelle Pfeifer scenes in Batman Returns, because I guarantee it makes a way better movie in a quarter of the time.
A special thanks to Halle Berry for pissing me off enough to generously donate a portion of my website to her crappy take of a superhero. Thanks for stopping by, cats and kittens, and until next time, keep watching those bad movies, and I’ll keep pondering my life choices.