Welcome back to 1 out of 5 – Would Recommend, where Razzies are worth more than Oscars. To that end, we’re examining a film starring one of only six people to ever win both – 2004’s Catwoman!
What’s The Plot?
Timid graphic designer Patience Phillips is murdered by her corrupt employers when she accidentally discovers that their premier new cosmetic is actually quite poisonous. She is resurrected by magical cats and turned into a Catwoman, a female avenger of wrongs with all the abilities of a cat. She seeks revenge on the corrupt corporations that had her killed, not just for herself but in the name of all the women they have knowingly poisoned, only to find that the corruption is not what it seemed.
And the Oscar Goes To…
Halle Berry, the only of the four Oscar winners we’re looking at this month who won Academy gold before doing the atrocious movie featured here. Halle Berry became the first African-American in the history of the Academy Awards to win Best Actress in a Leading Role in 2001, for her performance in Monster’s Ball.
Five Reasons to See It
- Right of that bat – Halle Berry’s acting is actually pretty good. She gives playing a mousy woman struggling with newfound feline instincts her all, and actually does a great job conveying “I don’t know why I’m doing this” for the cat-like behavior. It’s not her fault that the script includes rubbing a catnip ball on her face as part of that.
- The Batman Returns version of Catwoman shows up in a pictorial cameo, placing this in the continuity of the Burton/Schumacher bat-flicks and making it the second worst movie in that franchise.
- Speaking of which: Patience Phillips has Catwoman’s Batman Returns origin beat for beat – harmless office drone learns high powered boss’ criminal secret and is murdered for it, only be resurrected by cats with new catlike powers. Though what Tim Burton did by stuffing Michelle Pfeifer’s shirt with fish (true story), this film does with terrible CGI. Practical effects for the win.
- This movie’s crime scene tech does handwriting analysis that is probably the most pseudoscientific thing ever put into a comic book movie.
- “But there was no obituary, because the day that I died is also the day I started to live.” – Holy Cliches, Batman!
This movie is silly, but honestly nowhere near the level of a Batman & Robin or Superman IV: The Quest for Peace ( and you’ll notice that those didn’t kill the concept of the male-lead comic book movie for over a decade). The CGI wasn’t even good for the era, script is marred by silliness, and the costume is probably the least intimidating supersuit committed to film since Condorman. But it kills an hour and forty-five minutes fairly entertainingly, so it’s not worth hating.
NEXT WEEK: The man who would make two of the top five highest grossing movies of all time gets his start with 1981’s Piranha II: The Spawning.