I’ve finally seen this comic adaptation. I finally understand all this talk about the biggest mistake of Halle Berry’s career.
Cast, Crew, and Other Info
Halle Berry as Patience Phillips / Catwoman
Benjamin Bratt as Tom Lone
Sharon Stone as Laurel Hedare
Written by John D. Brancanto & Michael Ferris and John Rogers, based on a story by Theresa Rebeck and John Brancanto & Michael Ferris.
Directed by Pitof.
Complete information is available from the IMDB.
An artist accidentally overhears some damaging information. She is killed, only to be resurrected by an Egyptian cat, and granted all sorts of cat-like abilities.
Sally’s reaction to meeting Tom Lone was somewhat amusing. We’ve seen it many, many times before, but it’s still the best writing this script has to offer.
The “evidence all points towards” a woman who, if given a blowback test, would be shown to have been nowhere near a firing gun.
This is a somewhat original take on the character of Catwoman and her abilities, in the sense that it’s completely unlike any other version of the character. We’ve seen heroes like this before; in fact, I’m convinced that producers were hoping to capture the same fun of Spider-Man with his agile, animal-granted combat skills. The idea of an evil cosmetics conspiracy hasn’t been seen elsewhere to my knowledge, either. (This is probably because it’s such a bad idea.) I give it 4 out of 6.
The effects were primarily made from a rubbery CGI version of Halle Berry. They did not look good. Some of the special photographic effects could have worked, but the edited used to go along with them was terrible, preventing us from really understanding what was going on from time to time. I give it 3 out of 6.
The story is strained and frequently nonsensical. There are just too many inane little moments to hold things together, and a lack of caring or understanding needed to hold a script together. I give it 2 out of 6.
The acting was not as bad as I expected. Berry did a decent job during her interrogation, as well as with the change in body language. Bratt did decent work with the shallow boy scout. Stone lived up to her name. I give it 4 out of 6.
The emotional response was in no way positive. This was bad, but not bad enough to become amusing in its own right. It was just weak throughout. At no point did I care about whether or not the conflict would be resolved. I give it 1 out of 6.
The production was awful. The setups made continuity editing difficult if not impossible. The colour filtering was far too blatant, and really overdone. (It was also inconsistent; take a look at the fight scene on the catwalk when Lone first meets Catwoman. With the green filter in place, Catwoman’s red lipstick would film as black. Some shots have digitally restored the colour, but others haven’t.) The camera work and editing in action sequences made the action extremely difficult to follow. (Not even Batman Forever was this bad.) Pitof just screwed everything up. The pointless sweeping city shots weren’t needed to establish the location of Hedare’s company, so the only conceivable reason for having them was to try and capture more of the Spider-Man feel. I give it 2 out of 6.
Overall, it’s a lousy superheroine film. We need a good superheroine film to show people that it can be done. (Supergirl was the only other real attempt I can think of.) This is bad, but it’s not the complete and utter train wreck it’s often regarded as, which precludes the opportunity for MST3K-type fun with it. The only remaining reason to watch it is for Halle Berry in leathers. If looking at Halle Berry is the only reason to watch this, you’ve got her in leathers in X2 (a vastly superior movie), topless in Swordfish (which wasn’t great, but was better than this) and completely naked in Monster’s Ball (which is a great movie in its own right, although it’s not similar in tone to these in any way.) I can’t think of anyone I’d recommend this to. Even Catwoman fans are better served by Batman Returns. I give it 1 out of 6.
In total, Catwoman receives 17 out of 42.