Ashley Judd was the person filmmakers originally wanted to play Catwoman.  She declined, and was rumored later to have regretted this decision.  Instead, the role went to Halle Berry, and after watching Catwoman, it was a good thing Judd said no.  Catwoman is a big, boring, inane stinker.  Berry's career won't hurt much, since most people will likely ignore Catwoman and forget about it, but for the people who have to sit through it, too bad for them.  There is no mention of Batman, and this Catwoman isn't named Selina Kyle, so it operates in some sort of in-between world from that of Batman and that of the real world.  This Catwoman is Patience Philliips (Berry, Gothika, X2), a timid yet hot woman who works for Hedare Beauty, run by George Hedare (Lambert Wilson, Timeline, The Matrix Revolutions). 

Hedare is getting ready to launch a revolutionary cream that helps stop aging.  His wife Laurel (Sharon Stone, Cold Creek Manor, Beautiful Joe), who used to model for the company but is now 'older,' is the most vocal proponent of this cream.  Late one night, Phillips accidentally discovers that this cream is actually dangerous, and some of the less scrupulous employees try to kill her.  Left for dead, a bunch of cats approach her, and bequeath upon her catlike powers via some cat breath.  Seriously.  This has to be one of the lamest ways for somebody to get their powers.  Catwoman decides to set things right by exposing Hedare's secret, but not before doing a whole bunch of random things that buffer the running time.

It's pretty sad when the best thing about a superhero movie is the costume.  Berry looks amazing, and that's about it.  Catwoman isn't much fun to pay attention to.  The villains are also a great factor, but here they are two corporate executives, one of whom uses some wacky cream.  Benjamin Bratt (Abandon, Pinero) plays Tom Lone, a cop who is the semi-love interest of both Phillips and Catwoman, but they have little to no chemistry together.  Most of the fault for the film goes to its screenwriters, John D. Brancato and Michael Ferris (Terminator 3, The Net), and John Rogers (The Core, American Outlaws), based on a story by Brancato, Ferris, and Theresa Rebeck (Gossip).  Well, the story here is that there is no story.

The director, JEAN-CHRISTOPHE COMAR, goes by the name of Pitof (Vidocq).  He is French and has a background in visual effects.  The moniker makes him sound extremely pretentious (that and the fact that he's French), and the film kind of feels like it was trying to be different in a snooty way.  The effect was to make the entire thing boring.  The witty banter is boring, and the whole things looks like a movie set, not like real environs.  Catwoman goes all over the place, and everybody thinks she is a criminal.  She even thinks she is a criminal part of the time.  She talks to her new cats.  She flirts with Lone.  She purrs suggestively.  She wields a whip in a museum and a club.  But Berry sure looks hot while doing it!

Haro Rates It: Pretty Bad.
1 hour, 44 minutes, Rated PG-13 for action violence and some sensuality.

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