‘Catwoman’ (2004)

The character of Catwoman has showed up numerous times in TV and film. She was a cartoon all throughout the cartoon adventures of Batman and Robin, she showed up in the TV and Movie version of the 60’s Batman. She was in “Batman Returns” and just recently in “The Dark Knight Rises” played by Anne Hathaway. However, one film that has been regarded by plenty of people as the worst movie in the world is Halle Berry’s “Catwoman“. Tell you what, I haven’t seen it in a long time, but I just remember liking it. Yeah it had a questionably stupid plot, but I thought it was fun nonetheless. *Takes big gulp* Here we go.

Halle Berry stars as Patience Phillips, and she works for a cosmetics company. You may be asking yourself…why isn’t her name Selena Kyle, as it has always been…we’ll get to that in a minute. Her boss tells her that her latest assignment was terrible, and to keep her job, she has to fix it and give it back to them that night. When she comes with the assignment, Patience overhears her superiors in a business meeting talking about the grisly side effects from their newest brand of makeup. She was made, but she ran for her life when bullets came flying her way. She almost made it out alive, but when she ran into some tunnels, they flushed her out, ultimately killing her. Some magical CGI-Cats were waiting for her when she washed ashore, and breathed in a breath of life into her, awaking her from her deathly slumber.  Now they had a pretty cool montage of the cats bringing her back to life, but why all the cats were right there and then is beyond me…but hey it’s all in good fun so I won’t dock here.

Now here’s where things get interesting. It focuses like no other Catwoman adaptation has before on her abilities. Whether or not the comic version of Catwoman actually has abilities…I’m not particularly sure, but I am solely reviewing this as it’s own thing, period. So we see she has heightened senses, and is rather limber. When she visits an unusual cat lady named Ophelia Powers (Frances Conroy), she is informed of all the different women throughout history that have gained cat-like powers. You see, the Egyptians worshipped cats as Gods for a good reason, they had power. So this brings us back to why her name isn’t Selena Kyle. She is just another generation of cat women, Selena Kyle was one that interacted with Batman, and Patience has her own story. They also reference Selena Kyle via a photograph if you look closely, identifying this as it’s own thing.

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There are some clear shout-outs to Michelle Pfeiffer’s version. To facilitate the character’s monumental change, her prior-self was a bit nerdy, had frizzy hair, wore loose-fitting and unmatching fabrics, and was a bit nervous and shy. She had an evil boss, and to revive her from the dead, cats did their thing. At the same time, it had it’s own respected storyline…it was just a bit…dull.

This is where the movie sucks…the film’s villain (Sharon Stone) is driven by the desire to remain looking beautiful. In the beginning of the film, it is literally “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” as she scowls at knowing there is a new front page model, otherwise known as someone who is the fairest of them all. What is this villain’s ability? Her freaking skin-treatment makeup that makes her skin as hard as a rock. They couldn’t make a worse plot if they even tried, literally. It would have been so easy to just pick a different plot. It almost seems as if they wanted to make this movie terrible, like they took that extra mile to make the plot as stupid as it was. The romance part of the movie seemed pointless, but it’s nowhere near the level of terribleness the villain held, so I won’t really discount that too much. In addition to that, the CGI could have used a lot more help, but I can’t discount what was actually good about the movie.

First of all, I actually liked the back story here, explaining both Catwoman in Batman, and Catwoman in this movie. I liked that they explained cats giving both Michelle Pfeiffer and Halle Berry abilities as a power that they have been giving to the worthy for centuries, as they are the powerful Egyptian cats. It made perfect sense, and if there was any cats that are able to do that, then it would be those cats. That made sense to me. I thought that there was some pretty good characterization, at least for Patience. Her transformation made sense, and she acted pretty well for both nerdy Patience and catlike Patience, which brings me to the suit. I liked the suit better in this film than in “Dark Knight Rises“, and not just because it looked sexier. Yeah, they sexed her up a lot more in this movie, but it felt more like Catwoman overall in this than in “Dark Knight Rises“.

If you ignore the retarded villain storyline, the movie is kind of fun and exciting. I know I know, that storyline is pretty big and important in the movie so it is impossible to ignore, so instead focus on everything else in the movie first. If it didn’t have that bad plot, my rating would have been higher no doubt, but as it is, I liked it fine.  Is it as bad as everyone says it is? No not at all. This is coming from someone that has seen some seriously seriously horrid films….this was far better than any of those garbage-rotted films. It has one major flaw, which is a big one, but I liked the rest.

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