Canister X Movie Review #23: Catwoman (2004)
Written by John Brancato, Michael Ferris and John Rogers
Directed by Pitof Comar
Runtime 104 min.
2 out of 5
Patience Phillips overhears news of the terrible side effects of a skin cream that is being manufactured by the company she works for, Hedare Beauty, and is quickly silenced—fatally—for her eavesdropping. However, she comes back from the dead thanks to an Egyptian Mau cat and discovers she has cat-like abilities. Disguising herself as Catwoman, Patience seeks to learn the truth behind her own death.
Do you have any idea how excited I was when I heard they were making a Catwoman movie? I mean, it could be the greatest cat-burglar movie of all time loaded with super slick espionage, martial arts, sneaking around, Batman mythos references and/or cameos, strong-female-led action, cool costume(s) and more.
And then they made the movie they did.
Almost wish I could make this whole review two words—“no comment”—but that’d be cheating you guys.
This movie was not a Catwoman movie. I just don’t understand what they were trying to do here. Had this been a fan film and some attempted new take on the character, okay, fine, whatever, put it online and let people decide, but this was supposed to be the real deal. She wasn’t even called Selina Kyle in this. Instead, she was “Patience Phillips.” They tried to jazz up what is supposed to be a very down-to-earth origin and give it a mythology of its own. Okay, points for trying something new and superhero or supervillain origins are often tweaked or changed for the big screen. What makes Catwoman as a character awesome is the fact that she’s human, like Batman, and is basically his opposite. Not so in this one. She’s got cat-powers and while it was visually cool to watch her jump around and scale buildings and stuff, it’s just not who she is.
Halle Berry playing Catwoman is just fine. She’s sleek, sexy and pulls off the part. The problem is the story is not very good, the costume is terrible—how slinky and impractical can you get?—and there’s really nothing in this that ties it into the Batman universe. This is supposed to be a spin-off, but even spin-offs have a connection to the main source. i.e. the Elektra spin-off movie from Daredevil. Regardless of how you feel about that one, it’s still a spin-off and is known as such.
This was definitely a comic book movie in that they went for “comic booky” as the feel of it. Felt more direct-to-video to me, seemed rushed and just fell flat.
Catwoman is an awesome character and was resurrected in The Dark Knight Rises in a much more real world way. I hope that someday—hopefully sooner rather than later—another Catwoman flick is made and they really try to get it right. It has huge potential. Sadly, it was missed with this version here.