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Cinematic Hell: Catwoman (2004)

Updated on July 13, 2016
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Bradley Foulk is a Film critic, Razzie Voting Member and aspiring Oscar voter. His specialty is ripping apart the worst in all of cinema.

Theatrical Poster for Catwoman. Property of Warner Bros, Village Roadshow and DC Films.
Theatrical Poster for Catwoman. Property of Warner Bros, Village Roadshow and DC Films. | Source

Apparently, my bosses are more or less angry with me because I gave away the plot twist in The Next Best Thing review. I guess they really want you guys to see the worst of Cinema. Anyway, they promised me a really terrible movie today as punishment for breaking the rules here in Cinematic Hell. So what do we have anyway?

No... it can't... no... OH FUCK!

Yeah do you guys remember Batman Returns? A misunderstood movie that a lot of parents got angry at because it was "too dark" for kids? Even though the Batman comics were probably more dark than any live action Batman movie ever was? Well before SJW parents came and ruined our fun, Warner Bros was thinking of making a Catwoman movie after Michelle Pfeiffer wowed us all with her glorious performance as the feline anti-hero. However, there were a lot of complications because of not only the stupid backlash with Batman Returns but also due to constant rewrites on the Catwoman script, Tim Burton wasn't sure if he wanted to do it, Pfeiffer wasn't sure if she wanted to do it and of course superhero movies were for the most part dead for the rest of 90's up until the early 2000's. Finally, after 12 years in development hell we got... THIS THING.

This Catwoman film has no ties to Batman Returns or even to the real Catwoman character. It has it's own characters and it's own universe while trying to tell it's own story. Which isn't a problem, it just turns out all the important elements that you should have in any movie are completely fucked up. It goes far beyond just bad acting, bad writing and bad direction. It's actually a lot worse than that. Prepare yourselves guys... this won't be a catwalk for any of us. This is Catwoman.

Patience Philips (Halle Berry) is an ad designer for beauty cream at a make up industry or factory or whatever it's called at Hedare industries. Patience is shy, clumsy, wears frumpy clothes and has to deal with her dickhead boss George Hedare (Lambert Wilson). After a while (and I mean awhile, the first 30 minutes or so if this movie are so damn slow) Patience overhears an evil plot about the new make up that's about to launch called Beau-Line. At the center of this evil plot is Laurel Hedare (Sharon Stone) and no I'm not giving anything anyway when I say that just watch the trailer we all know Sharon Stone is the villain. Anyway, Patience is killed for knowing too much but not for long. In a scene completely ripped off from Batman Returns, Patience is resurrected with new cat like abilities. With these found powers, she becomes Catwoman.

Ok... first problem with this movie. Not only does it rip-off Batman Returns but it also rips off Superhero movies that were made in the early 2000's. A lot of the movie's formula comes from Sam Rami's first Spider-Man movie mainly when it comes to the super cat powers and that boring romance that comes later. A lot of the changes Patience goes through after being resurrected not only come out of nowhere but also come across very silly. She literally is a human cat hybrid with a lot of bad cat power humor. She sleeps on shelves, she eats dozens of cans of tuna, lands on all fours, makes high jumps, hisses at dogs and even at one point sniffs catnip in probably the funniest scene in entire movie. How the hell are we suppose to take this character seriously?

Aside from the silliness of her powers, Patience suffers a huge character flaw that every single character in this movie suffers from: the absence of any character trait and the absence of any personality. Both before and after becoming Catwoman, we have no idea who Patience actually is as a character. The only thing we ever know about her is she hates her job at Hedare Industries. So when the whole Catwoman mythos is explained by some crazy cat lady trying to be some Catwoman mentor, we have no idea why Patience has been chosen to have these powers. We get a bit of an explanation in the form of Patience saving a cat off a ledge in an earlier scene. Ok... so because she did a really dumb thing instead of calling animal control or the fire department she is suddenly so special and needs to have the ability to hiss at dogs? Sorry movie, that's not good enough.

Another big problem is the script. Not only can you tell there were so many rewrites to it you can practically see where Batman Returns ends and this bullshit story begins, but the final film has no real vision. It has no idea what story it's trying to tell. At times, this movie is just trying to be a superhero origin story while other times it's trying to connect itself with the anti-hero themes of the Catwoman character we know. But the film's story is so cluttered we have no idea what Catwoman's existence means in this film's universe. More than half the time, Catwoman is just a revenge story. Patience spends more than half the running time trying to get revenge for her murder. Ok well.. let's just say for the sake of argument Catwoman gets revenge on Laurel Hedare... so what? What's Catwoman going to do after that? She has no interest in being a hero really and the one scene where she does steal from a Jewelry store she feels bad about it and even returns the damn loot in a bag with the word "Sorry" written on it. So again, what is Catwoman's purpose?

After watching this movie I realized something, there's a reason why the characters and the story make no real sense in the final film. This movie cared about only one thing: the message of female empowerment. Every character in this movie and every story element are just tools to jackhammer into your head this movie's main theme. Even then, the message falls flat on it's head because Catwoman has to wear one of the most demeaning and sexualized outfits ever made in the history of Superhero movies. Not only does this costume look fucking ridiculous, but it paints a really nasty picture of the writers or anyone who had anything to do with this stupid film's story. I'm not a Social Justice Warrior by any means but seriously how can these filmmakers try to empower women by over sexualizing the main character? That makes no God damn sense! Not to mention this movie mostly has themes of jealousy and beauty fading from the Villain's age because we have to as many female related themes or a targeted audience won't get this movie! So yes Catwoman movie, I can say.... YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT!

Honestly guys, I can talk about this movie forever and rip it apart until there's nothing left. There's a boring romance, a dumbass detective who can't tell Patience and Catwoman are the same person, A villain arc that makes no sense and so much more. But we would be here all day and we all have suffered enough. Catwoman is one of the worst movies I ever seen and truly one of the worst movies ever made. The acting is off, the writing is atrocious, the characters have no personality, the editing is a God damn joke and the film's message is half assed to the point of being non-existent. I can't take anymore... I'M DONE! Score: 1/10.


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    • CYong74 profile image

      Kuan Leong Yong 

      2 years ago from Singapore

      I used to be quite defensive of this movie. Recently, I rewatched it and realised, it was awful. That's end cat fight was, argggg.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      This was the best so far. Long but worth my time and kept me more than entertained ♡

    • profile image

      Pat Mills 

      2 years ago from East Chicago, Indiana

      This is the film that proves that Selena Kyle is the one and only person who was ever worthy of the Catwoman moniker.


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