Catwoman Pitof

Catwoman Pitof
Poor Halle Berry, she's one of the most gorgeous women on the planet, yet since winning a Best Actress Oscar for 2001's Monster's Ball, Halle hasn't had an easy time of it. Divorce from admitted sexaholic cheese-soul singer Eric Benet has recently led, in an absurd twist, to his demanding of spousal support. And now, with the release of Catwoman, she should really consider firing her agent.

Patience Phillips is a wimpy graphic artist who is murdered upon discovering her employers — cosmetics moguls George Hedare (Lambert Wilson of The Matrix: Revolutions) and wife Laurel (Sharon Stone) — are covering up a grotesque side effect to their new anti-aging cream. But an ancient Egyptian kitty magically appears and infuses her with feline powers, prompting Catwoman to exact revenge while jumping around town looking for a scratching post.

This is a mish-mashed failure of each genre it attempts. The overused CG effects are too cartoon-ish to be an action flick; the performers are too earnest for a comedy; and the lack of chemistry between Berry and Benjamin Bratt puts the kibosh on romance.

The opportunity for a feminist statement is ignored by the all-male writing team, who lump the suffering actresses into the usual categories: Frances Conroy (wasting the excruciatingly long hiatus of HBO's Six Feet Under) as the kook, Sharon Stone (hoping for a career boost, à la Demi Moore, through a Barbara Walters-esque Vaseline lens) as the bitch and Alex Borstein (Fox's MADtv) as the gossip. Even Patience/Catwoman isn't developed beyond the one-dimensional wallflower/dominatrix juxtaposition guys love so much.

Catwoman could have been half-decent kitsch, especially considering the campy history of the character. The bra, I mean, costume is pretty comical but lines in the "Get your paws off me" vein are only groan-inducing. Oddly, a few good pussy jokes might have saved this movie. (Warner)