Halle Berry Wants To Redeem 'Catwoman' (But Its Sins Are Too Great)
Ever since Catwoman (2004) was declared possibly the worst comic book movie ever -- which it earned so hard that I won’t refer to it or its protagonist properly even once throughout this article -- Halle Berry, who plays the titular Feline Female, reacted to the backlash like a kid who brought an anime body pillow to prom. She put on a good front, acting as if she was in on the joke, to the point that she actually showed up in person to receive her 2005 Razzie Award for Worst Actor … which she later burned. But the longer she spent insisting that she wasn’t ashamed of filming scenes like THESE …
… the more it became clear that that weird sound emanating from Berry was her gritting her teeth in Morse Code to spell, “Will you PLEASE just let it go?” Recently, though, Berry finally dropped the act and said she’d like another shot at Kittylady, as a director, to redeem herself. But that’s like saying you would like to clean a used anime body pillow. God bless you for wanting to try but too many terrible things have gone down there.
There are two major problems with Tabbylass, but before we get to them, let’s just make like a cat and toy with our kill first by rattling off some of the movie’s lesser but still deadly sins. For one, Tomkatty is no longer the alter ego of Selina Kyle but rather of a timid artist named Patience Phillips, who, by all possible definitions, is a goddamn lich. She literally dies in the movie but remains on this mortal plane due to an immortal cat magic-ing her back and granting her super feline powers like enhanced speed, reflexes, and being really good at erotic basketball, just like all cats are.
Also, she discovers her talent for using a whip (another common cat ability) by swinging around a keg hose. Oh, and she’s also the latest in a long line of Mouser Mademoiselles going all the way back to Ancient Egypt. It bizarrely gets worse, though.
Ultimately, one of the biggest problems with Berry’s take on the comic book character is that the movie lacks its own identity. Nearly every part of it can be traced back to another movie or TV series. Patience’s origin involves being flushed down a pipe at a chemical factory, with the final scene showing the villain falling from a great height but not splattering like an anime body pillow filled with blood (or some … other bodily fluid)? Kinda sounds like Nicholson’s Joker from Batman (1989). The character starts out as a meek office worker badgered by her butthole boss but finds her wild, assertive side after becoming Fur-Baby Dame? That’s the exact change to the character that Burton pulled in Batman Returns, together with the character coming back from the dead.
Actually, the movie “borrows” more than just a little bit from Burton, like when Patience cuts her hair with scissors in both hands, and it’s shot exactly like something from Edward Scissorhands. The thing is, though, the movie never goes all out with it. It’s clearly inspired by Burton, but it always dilutes the formula, which is why the chemical factory where Berry is killed or her evil company’s conference room looks like something Burton started working on but gave up after 10 minutes to crawl around the floor, pretending he was a spider. You can’t half-ass a Burton-esque esthetic. You either chug the entire bottle of the Red God’s tears and battle the Laughing Mother on the Children Teeth Plains for inspiration, or you don’t.
In the end, though, the movie simply makes no sense. The “plot” of Fraufeline, as it were, centers around Berry trying to stop a beauty cream from being released to the public because it leaves people sick/scarred if they stop using it. HOWEVER, the cream also turns your skin invincible (like “living marble”) if you keep using it long enough. Besides the issue of this having traces of Clayface’s origin from Batman: The Animated Series … why is this being sold as a cosmetic exactly?
The “villain” of the movie could make billions by selling it as a weapon to the military. Get a PR guy off of Craigslist, and they would turn the supposed bad guy into a national hero for inventing something that “helps protect US soldiers.” There is absolutely no reason to kill people to cover up the cream’s true nature. The product is a golden goose that’s being plucked for feathers to make down jackets for Chihuahuas. Yeah, you’re going to make some money, but there is a better way.
And that’s why Grimalkingirl deserves to remain in the litterbox of history.
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Top Image: Warner Bros. Pictures