Catwoman (2004) Movie Review

details
Title: Catwoman.
Rated: PG-13.
Director: Pitof.
Screenplay: John Brancato, Michael Ferris & John Rogers.
Story: Theresa Rebeck, John Brancato & Michael Ferris.
Release Date: 2004.
Runtime:  104 min.
Genre(s): Action, Crime & Fantasy.
Cast: Halle Berry, Benjamin Bratt, Sharon Stone, Lambert Wilson, and many more!
Budget: $100,000,000.
Opening Weekend USA: $16,728,411.
Gross USA: $40,202,379.
My Overall Rating:★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ (1/10).

thoughts

Sometimes I wonder how millions of dollars can be invested into developing something that is universally considered bad. It’s only once I acknowledge that the presence of the bad is not only inevitable but also allows me to appreciate the good even more than I usual will that I find a certain peace within myself. Isn’t that wonderful? Everything has its place in the world. But sometimes they don’t. And in 2004, it was the case when actress Halle Berry took on the role of Catwoman in director Pitof’s Batman-less movie. I’ve seen this movie at least once every 5 years and I’m telling myself that this one will be the last as I finally put into words some of the negative thoughts that crossed my mind as I rewatched this disaster.

What is Catwoman about? Patience Phillips—at least they don’t call her Selena Kyle—is an artist who has yet to unlock the career paths that she strongly desires and currently works for a cosmetics company (Hedare Beauty) that is approaching its timeline to unveil to the world a brand-new beauty product known as the Beau-line cream. It’s on an unfortunate and coincidental night where deadlines were to be met that Patience Phillips enters the research and development laboratory to deliver her project that she accidentally discovers a terrifying truth about the beauty product. This revelation leads henchmen to hunt her down until a tragedy turns into a blessing and transforms her into the infamous Catwoman.

Freedom is power. To live a life untamed and unafraid is the gift ...

You could tell that this movie was getting ready to be the biggest flop of all time before it even got on a drawing board. It clearly didn’t intend to mark the beginning of a brand-new DC universe or to pretend to set things up for an exciting sequel connecting the classic Batman antihero with her counterparts within Gotham City. It seemed to only have one goal in mind, that is to be the first female-led superhero movie to make the most money in the business—until Wonder Woman (2017) came out. You could maybe even justify its existence as one of the many live-action adaptations that attempts its own take on a well-beloved character. Why not? I’ll tell you why not. Because this was a mutated, decomposing, outrageous, and cringe-inducing feature-length film that did nothing but spit on a character’s reputation with no respect for its creators, its fans, and for popular culture.

The movie kicks off by wordlessly exposing in the opening credit sequence a potential origin story set within Egyptian mythology for Catwoman. You could already tell that something wasn’t right. Were they just going to infuse magic into a character that never flirted with such powers? Once the movie gets going and Catwoman finally appears on the screen as the costumed antihero, you’ll be clawing away at your face at the ridiculousness of it all. You’ll quickly realize that this movie simply looked to utilize the comic book character’s aesthetics to display an overly sexual character who’s agency is absent and is unexplainedly dealing with a newly-acquired split-personality disorder as she transitions into an extroverted femme fatale with sadomasochistic tendencies. The character is thus portrayed by an actress who’s looks were only meant to seduce you into forgetting the lack of structure and content in this movie.

Catwoman 2004 Tumblr posts - Tumbral.com

But wait. The movie doesn’t only lack in substance and character. It is also filmed by amateurs who had no clue what cinematography was in the first place. Take every single action sequence in this movie. Not only do we have some of the worst choreography that you could ever possibly associate to Catwoman’s character but you also get some of the most badly edited sequences that rapidly flick from one angle to another, offering viewers the chance to indulge a quick epileptic episode in-between all the cringe-worthy dialogue offered by the various characters, including the awful romance with a “oh-so-perfect-and-handsome” cop who’s only there to miserably fail at balancing the eye candy for viewers. If the awkward acting isn’t enough, the movie also delivers a suffocating amount of CGI to compensate for the lack of stunt actors—or maybe they just thought that Catwoman’s natural acrobatic skills and feline flexibility was of the domain of fantasy worlds and didn’t dare to recreate it without the use of CGI.

The villain played by Sharon Stone was also catastrophic. She and her stupid henchmen helped enormously in contributing to the already ridiculous movie. Scurrying its way to disaster, this is simply a gratuitous butchery of one of Batman’s greatest love interest/archnemesis. There’s never any real exposition as to who Patience Phillips actually is deep down, what drives her character, what conflicts fuels her life into becoming someone. What we get is just a woman obsessed with purple, black, skin-tight leather, jewels, men, and cringe-inducing cat puns. Even by the rules of the world-building established in this movie, there’s nothing that justifies her worthiness to become the “next” Catwoman. So, what did everyone smoke to get this movie out in theaters?

Catwoman (2004) is a puuur-fect disaster.


EXHIBITA
The live-action movie adaptation of the comic book character created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane was released on July 23rd, 2004.

Have you read any Catwoman comics?
Have you seen Catwoman (2004)? Will you? What did you think about it?
Share your thoughts with me!

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57 comments

  • I’ve heard a lot of things about this film; none of them good. It was nice to make a female-led superhero film, but good intentions don’t count for much in the face of appalling execution. Apparently, the video game is supposed to be even worse. A lot of people consider it the worst game based on a comic book character that isn’t called Superman 64.

    Liked by 1 person

      • To be fair, there are some good movie-based games. Goldeneye is the most obvious example, being a rare case in which the game managed to eclipse the movie upon which it was based. I’m told that the adaptation of Spider-Man 2 was good as well. It’s just when the developers make an adaptation for the sake of cashing in that we run into the problem you’re familiar with. While gamers of yesteryear didn’t have to put up with microtransactions (if you don’t count coin-eating arcade machines, anyway), they had their own brand of hell to deal with in the form of greedy companies cynically churning out garbage products based off of films that already had a large fanbase.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I agree for Spider-Man 2. I remember playing it and enjoyed every second of it. But, like you said, it didn’t feel like it was just out there to make more money due to a movie’s success. But I definitely think what you pointed out is what makes those movie-based games so… unappealing to me in general. I’m at a point where I just can’t take the risk of trying them unless there’s some kind of universal praise for them going on.

          Liked by 1 person

  • This and Green Lantern are neck and neck for the worst superhero movie. I think Catwoman leads by a whisker because it has nothing to do with the DC universe even while using one of their iconic characters.

    It felt very sexually exploitative to me, as Berry seemed to be nothing more than skin to look at. Made me wonder how much of the script she saw before taking the role.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yep. So far, Catwoman is the worse of DC’s movies for me. It has no redeeming qualities. It was created for the wrong reasons. I have no idea what Halle Berry saw in this movie to accept doing it. Maybe she was contractually obligated… and wanted to have both feet in DC and Marvel (X-Men as Storm)… But this did release around a very successful period of her life… Maybe she was just doing it for money too.

      Liked by 1 person

  • This is one of those films I never had any desire to watch. Glad to hear I didn’t miss much. Although I must have missed something if you continue watching it at least once every 5 years!!! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hahahah the first time I saw it was at release, I was only a teenager and my mind was probably on Halle Berry more than anything else. The second time was with a much more mature mind so I could finally understand the disaster it was. And this third time was to write a review on it so that I… never have to rewatch it again. And you guys neither! 😀

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  • Ugh. Catwoman and Elektra. Female superhero movies made for the male gaze and ostensibly marketed to women, and when they utterly failed, studios pointed at them to justify not making more woman-centric superhero movies, saying “women don’t go see comic book movies”.

    It took until 2017, when Patty Jenkins’s Wonder Woman (a woman-centered movie made for the female gaze by a woman) was a major success that Hollywood realized that, yeah, women like super heroes, too.

    Thank goodness for Patty Jenkins.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I can’t blame you there. The first time I watched it, it was most likely for Halle Berry and the fact that she’s playing Catwoman! But man… What a disaster it turned out to be hahaha Thank you so much for reading, Yesha! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  • Cant say I remembered anything or even watching this. What I do know is Berry had a very successful time around that period and if I am not mistaken, this either came out before or after Monsters Ball that was all about the sex… I prefer Michelle Pfeifer’s cat woman, even though it was a bit cringe it tried staying true to the comics.

    Liked by 2 people

  • I’m crying… I honestly can’t believe you had the stomach to watch this whole thing. Just watching the trailer was enough for me, LOL. It’s really sad they didn’t do the character Patience justice, and the CGI seems certainyl cringe-inducing. I feel bad for the actress who played her! In general it just seemed like a low budget film lol.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hahahah thank you so much for reading, Aila! It is a wholesome disaster and I’m at least glad to share it with everyone so that everyone KNOWS what they’re getting into if they dare contemplate the idea of watching this hahahah

      Like

  • Cringe-inducing indeed. I actually cringed when I saw the title of the post. I didn’t like this movie at all and your review eloquently states all my reasons while cracking me up 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  • Ahahahaha love your review, Lashaan! 😀
    Your righteous fury is very endearing, I must confess. I laughed out loud, and I can’t believe you’re masochistic enough to watch it every five years! I don’t think I watched it even once 😉
    Great review, as always! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  • Puuurr-fect review, Lashaan 😘 This movie sounds horrible and I can’t believe you’ve watched it more than once? more than twice even?! 😂 At least I love the movies I watch several times 😛

    Liked by 2 people

  • I will forever regret the decision I made in watching this film. I can’t believe they actually butchered an adaptation on one of the greatest anti-heroes of all time. On the bright side, it makes a great horror film that will traumatise generations to come.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s insane that such a disaster was possible but I think the director had no clue what he was doing here. They went superficial on all levels and had no plan whatsoever to make this one memorable. And yes… A real horror movie hahahah

      Like

  • This was actually quite fun to read Lashaan, I can’t believe you have seen it more than once… why? 😂 To begin with I wasn’t really drawn to that movie but now I’ll avoid it like the plague! 😂 Thanks for this super honest review 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s awful! And I hope I won’t ever have to do it again now that I have a review up for it hahahah Someone would have to pay me to watch it now! But I’m glad to help you avoid it. 😉 Thanks for reading, Juliette! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  • Hahaha, hilarious and cutting observations my friend (I nearly missed this post as well, I don’t recall getting the usual e-mail notification) – and you’ve see it more than once? Sounds a bit like myself and Alien Resurrection, seeing it, loathing it and then going back some years later just to make sure it was as bad as I thought it was!

    I haven’t seen Catwoman, but fully aware of the legend surrounding it, it would seem the only appeal here is Halle Berry but I wasn’t aware that this take on the character diverges so wildly and so loosely from the source! This certainly sounds as awful as everyone says it is.

    Thanks for watching it (again) Lashaan…so I NEVER have to!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have no idea why that is but I hope it gets fixed! Hahahaha you feel me! We’re just out here making sure that these movies really were as bad as they seemed the first time. 😛

      I’m surprised you haven’t seen it though! 😮 But now I’m glad to confirm and warn you again of this tragedy. It’s not worth anyone’s time.

      Thanks for reading, Chris! I appreciate it as always! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  • I’ve managed to avoid this for 16 years but weirdly I want to watch it now. I know I’ll hate it but my curiosity has been piqued. Which is ironic given what curiosity supposedly does to cats…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel you, sir. I seem to have that tendency too for certain movies that many claim are the worse! 😮

      Hahahahaah good one! Good thing they have nine lives though. You’ll have to sacrifice one to survive through this… dumpster fire. 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

  • I watched Catwoman a while back when I was in a 3-year-long bad movie phase. Some bad movies are awesome in that they’re terribly made, but still enjoyable, like “Hitler, Dead Or Alive”, Roland Emmerich’s “Godzilla” is kind of like that because it’s so bold in its badness, and arguably half of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career. Some bad movies are hilariously bad, like Troll 2, The Room, Plan 9 from Outer Space. Some movies are painful to watch, like Garbage Pail Kids, Nukie (a foreign ripoff of ET), and so many bad comedies. I’d put Catwoman somewhere between painful and hilariously bad, with maybe a touch of being bold in its badness. It’s kind of unique in the world of bad movies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was going to mention Schwarzenegger’s movies too hahahah I definitely know what you mean about hilariously-bad movies but man I’d gladly put this in those “frustratingly bad” movies myself. I think being a huge DC fan makes it harder for me to accept such horrible adaptations. I’d put the last Star Wars (ep. IX) in there too. Terrible stuff! But man, I still have a couple of other bad ones queued up for the upcoming months that I actually never saw before. I can’t wait to see if they are just as bad hahaha

      Like

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