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Halle Berry
as Patience Phillips/Catwoman

Benjamin Bratt
as Tom Lone

Sharon Stone
as Laurel Hedare

Lambert Wilson
as George Hedare

Frances Conroy
as Ophelia

Alex Borstein
as Sally

Michael Massee
as Armando

Byron Mann
as Wesley

Kim Smith
as Drina

Written by John D. Brancato & Michael Ferris
and John Rogers

Directed by Pitof

Running Time: 1:44

Rated PG-13
for action violence and some sensuality.



Catwoman is a good character that got lost in a poor movie.


Patience Phillips is working on a new ad campaign for a face cream that promises to revolutionize the aging process. Use the cream daily, and you'll never look older. The only problem, as Patience is unlucky enough to find out, is that using the cream causes headaches and other ailments. Worse, if you stop using it, your face looks like it went through 10 rounds with Mike Tyson, while engulfed in flames. When Patience discovers this secret, she is killed. But due to some cats who took a liking to her, she is reborn as, Catwoman. Catwoman has all the abilities of a cat, and then some. She fights crime, but also enjoys stealing. And when she is framed for two murders, she has to fight for her own survival.


Right off the bat, I'm going to say I am not a fan of Halle Berry. I don't find her particularly attractive (and yes, I know I'm in the minority on this one, so please don't write in and ask me what my problem is), and I don't think she's a good actress. That being said, I can not fault her for the mess that is Catwoman. Not even Eartha Kitt herself could have saved this movie. First off, the plot of the movie centers around face cream. Second, the 'bad guy' in the movie is the person who wants to keep the face cream on the shelves for a few million bucks. Either give me a decent bad guy or give me a completely over the top bad guy. Not just someone out for profit. It lacks any suspense and doesn't make me interested at all. We all know the good guy is going to win out, so at least make it fun. I mean, the choice of bad guys comes down to either Lambert Wilson as George Hedare, the owner of the face cream, or Sharon Stone as Laurel Hedare his wife who was just relieved of her duties as spokesperson for the cosmetic line (as well her duties as wife). Neither of them strikes me as being scary or appealing. Wilson could have gone the maniacal route with his big henchmen who do all his dirty work, but he came across as more of an annoying, whiny bastard. And Sharon Stone, well, she hasn't done anything worthwhile in years.

Halle Berry was actually decent in the role, but the writing was fairly atrocious so there wasn't a lot she could do. I actually liked her more before she became Catwoman. Once she went through her transformation, I started to wonder exactly what kind of powers cats had. I mean, she managed to give herself a pretty stylish haircut while looking in the mirror. I didn't know cats could do that. She also learned how to fight, play basketball and ride a motorcycle. Cats certainly are amazing creatures. One scene made me wonder what the writers were thinking. Patience goes to a children's organization to meet up with her foxy young Detective, Tom Lone, played by Benjamin Bratt. While there she plays one-on-one basketball with him. The game involves a lot of bumping and grinding, some licking, and ends with her straddling him. In front of a bunch of young kids! Did neither of them have any idea where they were? Or did they just not care? This was just after the good Detective gave a speech telling the kids to grow up to be good instead of bad, and he makes that point by dry humping a woman on the basketball court. Yeah, good idea.

As I said, once Berry transformed into Catwoman, I thought her performance went downhill. It started off well enough with her learning about her abilities, but once she got a hang of everything, she went over-the-top and it was more funny than sexy. And that much publicized outfit of hers... I have no idea where that came from. I figure it was more like the producers said, hey, we have Halle Berry, let's see how much we can show off her ass and her cleavage, that way, even if the movie is bad, people will still come to see her! Benjamin Bratt looked almost apologetic for being in the movie. His character was there to be ripped on, beaten by, and licked by the Catwoman. He was nice enough but didn't do much interesting.

Here's what I liked about the movie. I liked the camera work. There was a lot of 'swooping' done by the camera, even though a lot of it was done by computers. The movie looked good, with the sets and surroundings making it seems like it could be any major city. But what I couldn't tell is if the movie was supposed to take place in a real city, or in a comic book city. For instance, there's a scene where a couple of bad guys have broken into a jewelry store and are smashing and grabbing items quite calmly. In the real world, they would be in a bit more of a hurry, and alarms would be going off, especially in a store that looked as big as this one. In a comic book world, it's entirely possible that there would be no alarms, and the cops wouldn't show up until long after everyone left. Was this the world of the original Batman movie? Or was the world of say, oh hell, pick any movie? That small difference was never made clear to me. It didn't really feel like a comic book movie, but then again, a movie that features CGI cats breathing into a woman and making her come back to life isn't too real to begin with. I also really liked the music, especially the song playing during the basketball sequence.


So overall, I didn't go into Catwoman with high expectations, and as I found out, that was a good idea. The plot was rather lame, the characters weren't very appealing, and the star of the film was trapped in a badly written role.

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Barbie as Halle Berry
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Catwoman: The Visual Guide
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Batman Returns

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reviewed 07/21/04

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