ComicsAlliance Reviews ‘Catwoman’ (2004), Part One
Each week, Chris Sims and David Uzumeri take a look back at one of the most successful and influential comic book movie franchises of all time, in ComicsAlliance’s in-depth retrospective on the Batman films.
Chris: All right, everyone. We’ve put it off as long as we can, but now there’s no getting around it: Today, David and I begin our review of 2004′s Catwoman, starring Halle Berry, Sharon Stone and a complete rejection of anything even remotely resembling sense.
David: Everything you’ve heard is true: this movie is utterly terrible.Chris: As much as we’ve gotten a reputation for trying to go against the accepted wisdom in these columns, Uzi’s right. This thing is every bit as bad as you’ve heard. And amazingly, I saw it in the theater.
David: I honestly have no idea how you managed that.
Chris: I honestly can’t remember. This would’ve been the year before I started blogging, so I don’t even have that as an excuse. I think that we might’ve gotten free passes from the movie theater across the street from the comic book store where I used to work — they did that a lot — and figured that it might be so bad it was entertaining.
David: Well, it wasn’t. At all. This movie doesn’t even find new ways to be bad, it’s just bad in the same way for an hour and 45 minutes.
Chris: It really is! But before we get into that, a little background: As we already mentioned, there were plans in place for a Catwoman movie even before Batman Returns finished filming.
David: It’s funny. While this movie has absolutely nothing to do with the source material from the comics, it’s actually fairly similar to Catwoman’s origin from Batman Returns: She’s a mousy employee who stumbles onto something big, gets killed for it, and is resurrected by cats.
Chris: There’s also some token thievery thrown in for good measure, which really only seems like it’s there because the Catwoman in the comics is, you know, a cat burglar.
David: Here, this is explained because now she is literally a cat person, and this means she likes shiny objects. But don’t worry, folks, it gets downhill from there.
Chris: It makes perfect sense that Warner Bros. would want to make a Catwoman movie. She’s been a recognizable part of the Batman franchise in pop culture since Batman ’66, and as a solo heroine — or at least a protagonist — she’s been pretty successful in the world of comics. What doesn’t make sense is why they’d want to throw everything that people like about her in those completely out the window.
David: I’d love to read John Rogers’s original script. Was she even Selina Kyle in it?
Chris: I have no idea. But really, even that Daniel Waters script we discussed when we reviewed Returns, where Catwoman goes to a super-hero day spa and ends up finding out the “heroes” are bad people, fits in with Catwoman’s established character. I mean, yes, it sounds more like a story from The Boys, but it preserves the idea of of Catwoman as a likeable anti-heroine fighting against self-righteous jerks. This, however, is just flat-out kookiness.
David: Female-starring spinoff films of successful movie franchises don’t do very well, do they? Supergirl, Catwoman, Elektra…
Chris: Oh, you’re going to get e-mails on that one, buddy. Maybe we should make sure everyone knows that we don’t think there’s anything intrinsically wrong with super-hero movies with female leads. But you’re definitely right on the poor track record.
David: Dude, I’m in no way saying the idea itself is inherently flawed, but man, each and every attempt just ends up getting totally screwed by the Hollywood moviemaking machine. Maybe execs think a female lead means a need to play the story differently from the parent franchise? I have no idea, but whatever the case, the results are abysmal.
Chris: At the same time, it’s weird that they seem so reluctant to do a movie about a super-heroine who doesn’t have a parent franchise. The three you listed are both spin-offs of other properties, while Wonder Woman still hasn’t gotten a shot. Not that I’m a huge Wonder Woman fan, but still.
David: Maybe that’s the one character they feel they actually should service as an icon, rather than cashing in on?
Chris: Again, Catwoman seems logical: She’s got a long solo career that doesn’t necessarily need to have Batman around to have a solid adventure, but Batman’s there in the background to draw in all the existing fans that made Warner Bros. a billion dollars over the years. And yet, we get something that’s unrecognizable other than having the same dumb origin of cats licking you back to life.
David: Every single part of this movie is a cliche. Considering how long this disaster was in development, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the box office failure of Batman & Robin convinced the producers they needed to significantly modify the premise of the movie. Why they even went ahead and made it anyway, I have no idea.
Chris: It took 12 years after Batman Returns for this movie to be released, and when it was, there was a debate involving 28 writers who had worked on the script. So really, the amazing thing isn’t that it’s bad, but that it’s so consistent in its badness.
David: All credit due to Pitof, apparently, for amalgamating all those scripts into a uniformly bad movie, with a real consistency in the ways in which it’s terrible. Well done, sir.
Chris: Agreed. So with that said, ready to dive in?
David: Let’s kick off with the opening credits.
David: This is amazing from the very beginning. The entire opening montage is this terrible fake Museum of World History exhibit about the history of cats, and the whole thing is Ken Burns Effected into oblivion. Now they’re trying to tie it in with the Salem Witch Hunts. And with cat-person performers that look like Julie Newmar. My God. This ties in with the stuff about Bast and the Egyptian cats that’s part of the “plot” later, but it’s still incredibly stupid, and sets the most un-Bat-like tone I can imagine right off the bat. No pun intended.
Chris: The weird Ancient Egyptian Catwoman Legacy stuff is all over it right from the beginning too, and again, you’ve got to hand it to Pitof. He lets you know right from the beginning that you’re in for some utter nonsense.
David: Honestly, given that he’s a French director with a one-word name, I keep imagining that he just vamped around the set like the Evil Cosmetics President in the movie, whom I will continue to call that because I am unable to remember anyone’s name.
Chris: This is sort of along the lines of what we got with that original draft of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, too, with Arachne coming down from Mount Olympus to give Peter Parker his spider-powers, and man. Do the people responsible for packaging comics for the mainstream audience think that’s more relatable to the mass audience than “radioactive spider” or “dresses up like a cat to steal things?”
David: I recognize the right of an auteur director to change the source material a bit to better fit the medium when necessary, but Pitof isn’t an auteur; he’s a really pretentious visual effects supervisor.
Chris: It’s not so much the change I have a problem with, it’s the change to something that makes even less sense. Though I guess when you have a mandate to clean up the mess Tim Burton made with it, that’s going to happen.
David: He somehow managed to break the concept MORE. With the dialogue “I was supposed to be an artist by now. Instead, I’m designing ads for beauty cream,” we’re introduced to Catwoman (whose real name we haven’t heard yet) who works at an evil cosmetics developer. They have this press conference where Sharon Stone and her eurotrash husband announce that she’ll no longer be the face of the company, but rather a younger model who looks creepily like Anne Hathaway.
David: Also, they have developed a beauty cream to REVERSE aging — not just stall it, but actually physically reverse it. You’d think this would have greater medical applications than cosmetics, but apparently, this is how Catwoman rolls.
Chris: I’m going to go ahead and admit that I’m pretty unfamiliar with the cosmetics industry, but just from a logic standpoint, their decision here makes absolutely no sense. If you have a cream that reverses aging, wouldn’t you want your spokesmodel to be a hot older lady, and not an 18-year-old who has no aging effects to reverse?
David: We haven’t seen the before picture, Chris! Maybe she looked octogenerian before!
Chris: It’s the Curious Cream of Benjamin Button!
David: Vivid, we expect the check in the mail.
Chris: Really though, it’s like it’s almost trying to make a commentary on beauty in society, but then it just gives up halfway through the first word.
David: Wouldn’t you give up on this?
Chris: I already have.
David: We’re also introduced to Catwoman’s friends, one of whom is an offensively stereotypical gay man, and the other one of which I will refer to for the next hour and forty-five minutes as “Ersatz Etta Candy.” Ersatz Etta Candy is hooked on their new cosmetics, and complains of headaches and skin tightness, which you’d think she’d link to the cream she’s using, but no.
Chris: She’s also played with all the skill and subtlety you can learn on the set of MAD TV by Alex Borstein, who undoubtedly took the role so that Family Guy would no longer be the most embarrassing thing on her resumé.
David: This is 2004, too, so this is back when Family Guy was somehow still thought of as that show that got unfortunately cancelled, and not the bottom-of-the-barrel, circling-the-pit nadir of animated humor. She was terrible in this movie, but she gets a pass, because every single person in this movie is terrible.
Chris: To be fair, much like Jim Carrey in Batman Forever, she showed up and did exactly what they wanted her to do. She’s Catwoman’s super-chatty, man-crazy friend. That’s all there is to the character, so it’s not like it’s on her for not finding the depth there.
David: Still, to hell with characters, it’s time for plot development! Now, Eurotrash President is raking Catwoman over the coals for doing her job, since he’s apparently changed his mind about her design in the past day so that he can look cartoonishly evil for our benefit. Sharon Stone intercedes on Halle Berry’s behalf, for no reason.
Chris: I think she’s supposed to only be doing it to mess with her husband, but it does seem a little out of place. Especially considering — SPOILER WARNING! — that she becomes the villain of the movie, and in about ten minutes is going to be revealed to not give a dang about her new product horribly disfiguring her customers.
David: Sharon Stone, what the hell happened to your career?
Chris: About what you’d expect, really.
David: She got old and replaced by younger actresses? Maybe this movie is actually a brilliant metaphor for Sharon Stone’s career, and a brilliant catharsis on her part. Pitof is in the role of Sharon Stone’s husband, casting her as the villain to the younger Halle Berry.
Chris: I was thinking more that the trajectory from having your defining role be the sex-villain of a Joe Eszterhas classic to winding up in Catwoman seems pretty natural. Honestly, we’re lucky Jessie from Saved By The Bell doesn’t show up in here.
David: Man, which one was Jessie? Was that Tiffani Amber Thiessen?
Chris: She was Kelly Kapowski, you Baysidedummy. Jessie Spano was played by Elizabeth Berkeley.
David: Oh, the Showgirls chick! I’d say that Catwoman would actually HELP her career trajectory.
Chris: Regardless, it’s pretty clear at this piont that Sharon Stone hates everyone, but hates her Eurotrash business partner husband most of all.
David: That makes two of us! But before we continue on this plot thread, it’s time for more of Catwoman, and numetal and a house party. Halle Berry has woken up and her clock is turning backwards! This is apparently actual time travel cream, people. This is the movie we’re watching. Halle Berry attempts to ask Fat Chad Kroeger to turn down the music at his horrible party across the street, except she does this out of her window, because she has no backbone. Then she sees a cat.
Chris: Right now, the heavy metal party is just a dumb cliche, but don’t worry: The next time we see it, it’s going to be even dumber.
David: I find the entire situation hilarious. Why is she just screaming across the street? Does she actually expect this to work?
Chris: The crazy thing is, later, it totally DOES work, and she’s not even that much louder. I mean, far be it from me to think that I could improve upon Catwoman — which, if you remember — was written by 28 professional writers — but wouldn’t it make more sense if she just stayed in her bed, too shy to even attempt to confront these guys?
David: While she’s painting the next day, the cat shows up in her window, except when she goes outside to hang out with the cat for no reason, it’s on a ledge and she feels compelled to save it. Eat that, Dan DiDio.
David: Then she steps on an air conditioner and almost falls because who knew window-mounted air conditioners weren’t meant to support the weight of a human body?
Chris: Even a Halle Berry body, which I’m going to bet weighs significantly less than the average!
David: But no, the air conditioner just folds, and she has to be rescued by Benjamin Bratt! In his expensive car! To her rescue! He’s a cop with a good heart, and he thinks she’s a jumper. It turns out her name is Patience Phillips. I didn’t know this movie had Stan Lee on retainer. He saves her life from the suicide that was actually an act of ultimate hubris in thinking a graphic designer could be more lithe and agile than an ACTUAL DAMN CAT.
Chris: Did you notice that Patience is wearing the same outfit she wore to work on the previous day, right down to the same weird smock?
David: No. No, I did not.
Chris: It stuck out to me because it’s such a goofy outfit that’s obviously meant to downplay the fact that Halle Berry is… you know, Halle Berry, without actually hiding her beauty at all. So does Patience Phillips wear the same thing to work every day, or what?
David: Well, I mean… uh… yeah, I have no idea, actually. She doesn’t seem to do much actual painting in the office.
Chris: As near as I can tell, she does all of her graphic design on a computer, and just paints in her spare time.
David: Well… this is Catwoman. That’s really the only answer.
Chris: That said, I’ll admit that I do think the scene where Benjamin Bratt thinks she’s a suicidally insane jumper is pretty funny.
David: I’d like to think that’s a leftover from the John Rogers draft, just like every other decent part of this movie.
Chris: There are other decent parts?
David: Sharon Stone walks into the Evil Cosmetics Company’s Hall of Televisions of People Younger Than Her and is disgusted by the fact that a woman in her 40s with a pixie cut can’t compete. You’re the one who got into the cosmetics industry, honey.
Chris: Patience is now on a deadline to make a new ad campaign for “Beaulime,” which sounds less like a cosmetic and more like an antiquated cocktail drunk by wayward sons in linen suits on the porches of Louisiana plantations that are withering around them, just as their family has become a shadow of its former glory.
David: Also in the design offices, Benjamin Bratt — who must be really missing working with Jerry Orbach now — arrives to woo Patience and be referred to by the insanely superficial gay dude as a “man sandwich!” Whatever that means.
Chris: It was a leftover product placement spot from when Warner Bros. was courting lucrative Manwich advertising. There’s a full serving of vegetables in each can, you know!
David: But here’s what’s really great about the Bratt scene: He comes preloaded with a learned criticism of Patience’s art, intended to impress her, except that he then reveals that he Googled it all, which I guess just makes him look like more of a stalker. I’m also extremely confused as to how you Google someone’s artwork to find the perfect criticism for it, identifying all of its influences. The simple act of knowing what to Google for to figure that out would require more than a passing familiarity with art history.
Chris: I like to imagine that he just did an image search for “paintings” and then clicked around until he found what he was looking for. It’s a level of thoroughness that your stalkee will appreciate. There’s an even better part of this scene, though.
David: I apparently missed it. Inform me!
Chris: This is the part where we find out that Benjamin Bratt’s character’s name is DETECTIVE TOM LONE.
David: That’s appropriate for the character, because as he later says, he’s a loner!
Chris: And Tom, like a male cat!
David: Oh my God, I didn’t even think of that. I mean, I’m GLAD I didn’t think of that.
Chris: I heard the guy that named the cop in the Phoenix Wright games “Detective Dick Gumshoe” walked out of the theater in disgust when he heard that name.
David: He asks her out for coffee, and her friends insist she wear “that leather outfit.” She misses her date due to having to personally deliver a design to her bosses (despite attempting to hire a courier), because in 2004 they did not have the Internet for sending Illustrator files. As she delivers it, she walks into a poorly-lit basement filled with dangerous chemical warnings, and stumbles across Sharon Stone’s husband flipping out about the fact that their age-reversal cream is both highly addictive and causes people’s skin to decay. Revlon?! More like Roxxon.
Chris: The craziest thing about that is that Patience says she has to deliver the final design for the ad by midnight. What the hell kind of actual business has a deadline of midnight?
David: Dude, nothing about this damn movie makes any sense. It’s intensely frustrating. And why do they want it hand-delivered? What the hell good does it do the company to have a print of it that they can’t, I dunno, use in their promotional materials?
Chris: Wouldn’t it be delivered by close of business? Or first thing tomorrow?
David: Midnight MIGHT make sense if you’re delivering it internationally, and they’re a few time zones away. But that’s not the case there.
Chris: And why would they want it hand-delivered to the Restricted Poison Factory where they’ve got the video fo their product disfiguring test subjects playing on gigantic TV screens?!
David: It would have been great if it just had AXIS CHEMICALS crossed out on the sign.
Chris: It actually would’ve. Maybe they couldve, I don’t know, locked the door? Or had a single security guard posted? Especially since they were actually expecting a delivery?
David: Seriously, if we were drinking every time something in this movie didn’t make sense, we’d be San Diego blottoed fifteen minutes in.
Chris: Basically, this movie was almost about a bike messinger who got turned into Catwoman when she tried to deliver Patience Phillips’ dumb ad.
David: In any case, after a protracted escape scene through a Half-Life 2 level with some stereotypical suited bodyguards, she runs into an inexplicably empty pipe, before Sharon Stone orders her death and they drown her in the adjacent river by pushing chemicals through the pipes. Yay for Not-Gotham City environmentalism. Notham City.
Chris: Is it ever established where this movie takes place? Beyond the bizarre hybrid of Vancouver and Pitof’s CGI buildings that look like Grand Theft Auto 3‘s Liberty City, I mean.
David: I figured it was an implied New York City? I could be wrong. This is presumably her origin story, since she has a dream of a badly CGI-animated cat while floating in the lake. I’m still very unclear what any of this has to do with cats, other than the sequence earlier, except… oh wait, I take that back, now she’s being surrounded and revived by big cats that look like they have Mac OS X releases named after them. This makes Tim Burton look subtle, and smart. As she’s revived, Patience’s eyes turn into cat eyes, because she is now an actual magical cat person.
Chris: If nothing else, Pitof’s version beats Burton’s for at least involving a reason for the transformation into Catwoman that isn’t just “there were some awnings, and bitches crazy yo.”
David: Well, that reason is impossibly stupid.
Chris: I’m actually fully prepared to give the origin story, dumb as it is, a full pass. I mean, if you divorce it from everything you know about the character, “woman gets killed and is resurrected as a magical cat person” isn’t any more unforgivably dumb than, say, Spider-Man, and is at least kind of implied in the name “Catwoman.” I mean, it’s stupid, but it’s not the entire reason why this movie’s bad. It’s just one of many.
David: Yeah, I guess that actually makes some degree of sense in a weird superhero continuum, it’s just so utterly bizarre for, well, a Catwoman movie. And I mean, there’s standard ol’ dumb, and then there’s Catwoman as a resurrected cat goddess. It also doesn’t really tie in to the cosmetics story at all.
Chris: Yeah, the cosmetics thing is pure M. Bison supervillainy. For Patience Phillips, the day she was reborn as Catwoman was the most important day of her life. For Sharon Stone… it was just Tuesday.
David: Using her new cat abilities and senses, she breaks into her apartment by punching in the window in. She wakes up on a shelf, because she is now a cat, and does what cats do, just like how Spider-Man uses his web fluid to imprison his food. She misses her date with Hot Cop because she’s a magical cat person who now can’t answer the telephone.
Chris: Interestingly enough, her cat powers have also fixed her hair and given her a better fashion sense so that she doesn’t wear a smock to work. Like, she got fully dressed in the middle of the night to go back to sleep on a bookshelf. I’m allergic so I don’t know, but… do cats do that?
David: I think that is a cat thing, yeah. After investigating the cat she rescued from the ledge and finding an address in a fortune cookie wrapper, Patience uses the address to find a crazy old cat lady who talks about its special powers due to being from a lineage of Egyptian cats. This is so stupid.
Chris: Fun fact! The role of Dr. Professor Crazy Cat Lady was originally intended for — wait for it — Julie Newmar.
David: That makes a hilarious amount of sense.
Chris: For those of you who aren’t aware, Julie Newmar was the most prolific of the three actresses who played Catwoman on Batman ’66, during which time she was quite literally the most beautiful woman on the face of the planet.
Chris: She was also smart enough to turn down this piece of crap, which only makes me love her more.
David: If only Halle Berry had been, man. And by all rights, she should have.
Chris: Right. At the time she filmed this movie, Halle Berry had ALREADY WON THE ACADEMY AWARD.
David: At least in this movie she didn’t have to fake on-screen sex with a guy named “Billy Bob.”
Chris: Yes, but she did have to do a scene where she confirmed that she had become an Earthly vessel for the goddess Bast by orgasmically rubbing a ball of catnip on her face, and really, that’s embarrassing to all of us. As a species.
David: I really have to wonder what the people who made this think when they watch it. Other than maybe not watching it. Did any DVD or Blu-Ray version of this movie have commentary?
Chris: I don’t know, and I don’t want “Catwoman DVD” in my Amazon search history, so you’re on your own, bucko.
David: It doesn’t, as far as I can tell. Which makes a lot of sense, since even the people who made this movie shouldn’t have any desire to watch it, and it seems to have completely killed Pitof’s career.
Chris: Killed his career? Son, I hope it put a stake in its heart, sawed its head off and filled its mouth with garlic.
David: Back at work, she draws a picture of her boss as the devil for no reason. After getting yelled at for losing the last night’s design, she apologizes and is rebuffed. She then presents the “remix” of the apology,saying she’s sorry for for every second she ever spent at that office. Then she gets fired. Somehow, she didn’t see this coming. Then the entire office chers her on, and this somehow doesn’t get everyone ELSE fired.
Chris: She does all this while wearing a jacket that looks like it belongs to a 19th century fop.
Chris: Also, I’ll confess that after seeing this movie, there was about a month where I amused myself by telling people “okay, then let me try the remix” after I said things they didn’t like.
David: She’s so sassy!
Chris: Alex Borstein ends up helping Patience clean out her desk, then faints inexplicably on the sidewalk, so Patience takes her to the hospital, so that we can all enjoy some regrettable faux-Sex in the City dialogue about hot doctors.
David: And there’s really no way this wasn’t caused by the mysterious aging cream, and the best part is, Patience seems completely unable to put two and two together, despite A) seeing the PowerPoint presentation on how damaging the cream is and B) knowing that her friend uses the cream liberally.
Chris: Ah, but she can’t remember it! Which I think is because in Batman Returns, Michelle Pfeifer talks about having amnesia. Except that I was pretty sure she was lying in that scene to unnerve Christopher Walken’s character, meaning that the actual filmmakers of a spin-off paid less attention to that movie than we did.
David: Max Shreck! Say what you will, at least Batman Returns had cool names.
Chris: Yes. “Chip Shreck” sure is “cool.”
David: Chip off the ol’ block! Patience decides to ignore her hurt friend and go visit Hot Cop, so she tracks him down to a random school and interrupts Benjamin Bratt talking to a classroom of children about the importance of staying good, even though all the kids want to do is play with and/or watch him shoot his gun. Somehow, Patience thinks this is a totally appropriate time to interrupt his community work and flirt with him, bringing him the coffee they should have had at the date she missed that morning. Then she shoots some mean hoops with her cat powers. It’s embarrassing.
Chris: Considering how literally this movie wants to take the name “Catwoman,” I’m surprised she didn’t bring him a chewed-up bird carcass.
David: This shooting hoops scene is the worst thing ever, I mean it.
Chris: I don’t even really want to talk about it. It’s… I mean, it’s exactly as dumb as you expect. It’s like they saw Teen Wolf and thought “how can we make this unwatchably terrible?”
David: It’s also the worst basketball scene ever, since it consists of them looking at each other’s asses and abs while drippling and looking each other in the face, until she shoots and lands straddling Benjamin Bratt in front of a schoolyard full of children.
Chris: Like cats do! Cats are always dry humping in front of kids, man. Even I know that.
David: It’s just abominable. This might actually be the worst scene in the movie so far, which is saying a lot.
Chris: Maybe it’s best to move on. Only then can recovery begin.
David: Oh hey, Vancouver skyline! Sharon Stone gets angry because her husband, whom she already hates, is hanging out with the hot new model. She crushes a glass in her hand and doesn’t get hurt, which I’m sure will spell trouble for Catwoman in something like forty minutes.
Chris: Except for the whole thing where she wants customers to rub acid on their faces for a profit, Sharon Stone’s got a pretty legitimate beef here. And at least she’s doing something other than ripping open cans of tuna and shoving handfuls into her mouth.
David: It’s a pretty classic Black Swan situation, but it’s still effective. Her husband is just made so hysterically douchebaggy and eurotrashy, though, that pretty much anything she did to spite him would look justified. But yeah, it’s better than what Patience is up to, which is eating half-dozens of tuna cans and getting a call from Alex Borstein where she demands ALLLL the details on how Patience’s date with Hot Cop went. When she mentions that they played basketball and she beat him, Alex is horrified, mentioning you never beat a man at a sport, because all men have intensely fragile egos that can’t take loss.
Chris: I wish this movie could decide if she was a Samantha or a Carrie.
David: After a day of unemployed cat-bliss, she yells at Fat Chad Kroeger to turn down his Heavy Metal Music Party again, but they refuse. So she goes over there, kicks down the door, sprays the speakers with beer from the in-apartment keg tap (?!?!?) and then rips it off and uses it as a whip.
Chris: That’s the real beauty of this movie. Every time you see a scene that you think is the dumbest it can offer, it steps up with another one. Or steps down, as the case may be.
David: I don’t understand any part of this apartment. This is a residential area with what looks like a commercial bar in an apartment, which I’m pretty sure has to break every fire code in the world.
Chris: No kidding. It’s clearly on the third floor of an apartment building, but there’s like a neon sign and an actual, honest to God bar.
Chris: Twenty. Eight. Writers.
David: We then get even stupider as Patience takes out her leather outfit given to her by her coworkers for a “dating emergency” and cuts and highlights her hair in like fifteen minutes using her Super Cat Vidal Sassoon Powers.
Chris: Again, that’s something cats do, right? They cut their own hair?
David: With double scissor action, preventing her from being able to measure out the hair as she cuts it. Then she steals a dude’s bike despite not having the keys nor knowing how to hotwire, and drives off into the night because it’s “time to accessorize.” The only way we know she’s stealing the bike is a voice in the background going “HEY, MY BIKE!”
Chris: Sadly, they never explain why she bothers to steal the bike, unless it belongs to the metalhead who was rocking too hard, for whom getting his ass kicked in front of his friends wasn’t enough of a comeuppance.
David: She then goes and stops some robbers from stealing everything in a nondescript jewelry store, wearing a super-expensive mask and climbing around on the walls like, well, like Spider-Man, pretty much.
Chris: Exactly like Spider-Man. But with a lower budget.
David: AND THEN SHE STEALS EVERYTHING ANYWAY. Crimefighting perfection, kids! But the fight scene has some truly amazing sequences, like Catwoman kicking a dude and then surfing across the floor on him, and also her sliding between’s a dude’s legs to punch him in the junk.
Chris: I’m still confused on why she wants to steal things. I always assumed Cat Burglars were called that because they were light on their feet and did second-story heists, not because cats had any particular desire to steal. Is that wrong?
David: I know that there’s a thing about cats being easily distracted by shiny things, maybe that’s what they’re trying to go for? I really couldn’t tell you why rampant kleptomania comes along with the territory.
Chris: It’s seriously down to the fact that they’re obliged to include it because that’s what the Catwoman everyone already knows does, but they don’t really feel the need to explain it or make it part of her character or do anything that would suggest there’s a reason it’s in the movie.
David: This also has the most expensive and pointlessly arty scene transition in recent memory, where they zoom in on the broken glass in the jewelry case and they transform into the cornucopia of jewelry on her bed as she wakes up on the floor next to it. Like a cat, people! Get it?!
Chris: Sadly, she left the actually-kind-of-cool domino mask that the jewelry store had on display for reasons that are beyond me at the scene of her crime, which means that she’ll be getting a whole new terrible costume in a few mintues.
David: The next scene is Hot Cop investigating the scene of the crime, being told that Patience had taken a “one-of-a-kind” necklace. Of course, he doesn’t know Patience stole it, but considering her brilliant post-robbery security scheme of a brown paper bag in a cupboard, I imagine that won’t last very long. Then again, I’m assuming this movie takes place in a world with rules, and logic.
Chris: No no, the brown bag is so that she can return the jewels to the scene of the crime.
David: Except she keeps the one thing anybody actually gives a s— about. True, she left the brown bag with “Sorry” on it at the scene of the crime, along with some cupcakes.
Chris: The best part of that is that the “Sorry” on the bag of jewels is in the exact same handwriting as the “Sorry” she wrote on Detective Tom Lone’s cup of coffee that she gave to him ten minutes ago. You’d think that might be the tipoff.
David: Ha! I didn’t notice that. That’s amazing. Then we get to watch the opening credits scene again with Yahoo! screenshots interspersed, and also some truly hilarious LOLcats! As well as a hilarious montage of the Egyptian Mau cat Photoshopped into myriad ancient drawings.
Chris: So finally, Patience ends up going back to Professor Dr. Crazy Cat Lady, who tells her that she’s Catwoman now. Or rather, the latest Catwoman.
David: That’s right, guys: it’s a legacy hero! Maybe this is closer to the DC Universe than we’d previously thought. Also, man, cat lady has a really, really, REALLY nice house for someone living off of … a professor’s pension? Do you even get pension when you’re denied tenure?
Chris: I like that she claims she was denied tenure because of “male academia,” and not because she wrote a giant leatherbound book of how Bast comes down in the form of housecats that bring dead bodies back to life as kleptomaniacs with an incredible gift for hairstyling.
David: A book with GILDED PAGES. Yeah, I’m sure students will be able to afford that.
Chris: Also she shoves Patience off a balcony. Clearly very stable.
David: But she knew Patience would be okay, because she’s a catwoman, one of the many through history!
Chris: And “Catwomen are not constrained by the rules of society!”
David: Fiercely independent, and incredibly confident!
Chris: Yet docile!
David: She’s also informed that she actually died and was resurrected, so now she wants to get revenge on whoever killed her, with the cat lady’s presumably incredibly expensive ancient cat mask artifact in hand.
Chris: And for an added bonus, a headshot of Michelle Pfeiffer gets thrown in for good measure.
David: Wait, really? I didn’t catch that! Finally, an explanation for Selina’s resurrection! Maybe one day they can make a movie with both Pfeiffer AND Berry!
Chris: And with that, Catwoman Begins. Join us next week for the rest of this litterbox, as Catwoman takes on the Evil Sharon Stone and… I don’t know, maybe Hot Cop dies? I can’t even remember.
David: It’s all uphill after this one, folks!