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July 26, 2004 - Image 13

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2004-07-26

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily - Monday, July 26, 2004 - 13

*'Catwoman' doesn't land on its feet

By Punit Mattoo
Daily Arts Writer

The bad buzz surrounding
"Catwoman" began with the first
images of the character's horren-
dously un-feline new catsuit and
continued with
rumors about cast- I
ing difficulties on Catwoman
the film's set. It At Quality 16
should come as no
great surprise to Wamer Bros.
comics fans, film
buffs or anyone with a modicum of
taste that "Catwoman" is an unexcit-
ing and pathetic excuse for a super-
hero flick, let alone anything resem-
bling cinematic art.
"Catwoman" tells the story of
Patience Philips (Halle Berry, "X-
2"), a supposedly ugly, clumsy
advertising designer at a cosmetics
company, which is set to release a
revolutionary beauty cream that will
reverse aging. Philips learns that the
cream leaves severe scars when
usage stops. To cover up the discov-
ery, company head Laurel Hedare
(Sharon Stone, "Cold Creek
Manor") has Philips murdered. A
mysterious Egyptian cat inexplica-

Hey, I can see my career from here!
bly brings Patience back to life, and
her transformation into Catwoman
begins.
Often, a super-character's discov-
ery of and experimentation with
their newfound powers serves as a
comical, fun sequence in the midst
of suspense and drama, but single-
named director Pitof ("The
Messenger") lacks any subtlety:
Audiences are subjected to scenes
of Berry hoarding cans of tuna in
her bed, gulping down sushi and,
worst of all, rubbing catnip all over
her face.
The story continues down a dull
path as Berry plots revenge against
the company and Hedare. The

inevitable catfights feature too
many cuts from the action, which
lose audience interest and probably
serve to cover up the actress's lack
of fighting skills. The climactic
fight isn't even the most action-
filled sequence of the movie.
Instead, that honor goes to a pathet-
ic "terror" sequence on a stalled
Ferris wheel.
But the greatest letdown of
Catwoman is Oscar winner Halle
Berry's lukewarm performance.
Wearing her catsuit, she looks as
gorgeous as ever, but falls short on
panache. Stone seems much better
suited for the catty role, overshad-
owing the lead with a bitchy, cut-
throat attitude. Berry is better suited
to playing the demure Storm in the
"X-Men" franchise.
Another yawn-inducing aspect of
"Catwoman" 's plot is her tame rela-
tionship with Detective Tom Lone
(Benjamin Bratt, "Traffic"); the
hottest action shown between the
two occurs in a basketball game at
an elementary school.
"Catwoman" sets a new low for
the comics-to-film genre. Even
those hoping for hot chicks mind-
less violence will leave theaters
hoping that this franchise only has
one life.

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