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Review (2/10)
(By Will Perkins)

In "Catwoman", Halle Berry stars as Patience Phillips, a shy and reserved artist working as a graphic designer for the behemoth cosmetics company Hedare. Patience is a meek woman, who seems to always be apologizing to people for her own existence. Her mundane life is in for a change the day she spots a mysterious cat outside her apartment window. Seeing that the cat is stranded, she climbs out onto the ledge to rescue it, instead she herself becomes stranded. Enter Tom Lone (Benjamin Bratt) a clean-cut Police Detective. Thinking Patience is suicidal and about to jump he begins trying to talk her down from the ledge and ends up rescuing her just as she's about to fall. Being the fine upstanding Police Officer he is, Tom is compelled to ask Patience out for coffee. She's unsure at first, but spurred on by her man-starved friend Sally (Alex Borstein), she accepts his offer. Patience is a busy woman though, George Hedare(Lambert Wilson) has put Patience in charge of the ad campaign for Beau-Line, Hedare's breakthrough anti-aging product. George Hedare is not an easy man to work for though, he and his aging supermodel wife Laurel (Sharon Stone) are constantly fighting, and this does not improve his mood towards his employees. Unsatisfied with her previous design for the ad campaign he gives Patience until midnight to come up with a new one or be fired. She manages to come up with a new design, but on her way to delivering it to her boss she overhears a conversation between Laurel and Hedare's top scientist. It turns out Beau-Line has horrible side effects if not used on a regular basis. It's the ultimate must have cosmetic product. Of course, she is discovered while eaves-dropping, and after a short lived chase is killed by Laurel's bodyguards. When her body washes up onto shore, the mysterious cat she tried to rescue on her windowsill reappears and coughs on her. In the process Patience is imbued with all the powers and senses of a cat, and before we know it she's jumping from roof-top to roof-top out for revenge in her S&M Catwoman suit.

Catwoman is a frighteningly awful film. I use the term film loosely because this is a mess of a movie. I found my mouth hanging wide open at times due to the sheer idiocy of some of the scenarios put forth by Catwoman. Halle Berry is a good actress, she deserved her Academy Award, but she's not very good in this movie. She obviously had fun playing the part, but it just doesn't work. It's like an inside joke - the people involved are entertained, but everyone else has no idea what's going on. Halle does look very good in her Catsuit, but the novelty of it wears off as soon as you realize that you have to sit in the theater for another hour after that. Benjamin Bratt does an okay job as Patience's love interest, and the detective assigned to track down Catwoman. At times the film feels like a really lame romantic comedy, as Bratt and Berry exchange horrible written dialogue. Did they realize what they were saying? Or was it intended to be horribly written? That will be a mystery for the ages. Sharon Stone hams it up in her role as an evil former supermodel with dreams of world domination through cosmetics products. Perhaps Stone was the only one who realized what a stinker this film was going to be, and decided to have fun with the part. Lambert Wilson plays a pompous bastard so well, as we found out in the last two Matrix films where he played The Merovingian, so not much of a stretch for him here. Perhaps the only, truly good performance in the film is that of Midnight, the mysterious Egyptian Mau cat that imbues Patience with her powers. However, the cat is CGI half the time so perhaps the artists should get the credit.

If only there were some postive aspects to this film. I find myself at a complete loss when I try to think of any redeeming qualities. The frantic pace and editing of all the fight scenes in the film make them so nearly impossible to watch or make sense of, you'll literally have no idea what's going on. Also, Catwoman's music is one of the most annoying elements of the movie. Nearly every scene is punctuated with a lame rhythm and blues score, made all the more ridiculous by the constant Oooh's and Yeah's of some Mariah Carey-esque singer. The special effects would have been good 2 years ago, but they're just not believable. If you've seen Spider-Man 2, you don't really notice the effects much - this is due to the seamless transition between CGI Spider-Man and Tobey-Maguire-in-a-suit Spider-Man. In Catwoman, the transition is anything but seamless. You can tell the instant Catwoman becomes a CGI character, Halle seems to turn into plastic version of herself and then back. The effects will really take you out of the film. You would think the director, Pitof, would have demanded more of the visual effects team considering that he himself has been the Visual Effects Supervisor on more than a dozen films.

Overall, the film was just poorly acted, written, directed and executed. With all these factors working against it, is it even worth seeing? No. Even Halle Berry in skin tight leather can't save this flick. Do yourself a favor and avoid this film. Avoid it like the plague. Go see The Bourne Supremacy, I haven't seen it but I know it's a far superior film.

Keyword : Eli, Super, Halle Berry, Sharon Stone, Rio, Comedy, Mystery, Romantic, Aging, Lambert Wilson, Music, Amber, You, Mariah Carey, Benjamin Bratt, Ant, Apartment, Ate, Bodyguard, Cover, Dare, Dream, EMI, Ex, Fighting, Good, Haven, Here, Jump, Look, Love, Out, Oz, Red, RV, Sign, SIS, Special, Spider-Man 2, Stone, Take, The Detective, Transit, Up, W., War, Will, FILM, PTS, Alex, Now, Ryo, M., Ron, Tere, Tia

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