(Region 1 Edition)

Starring: Halle Berry, Benjamin Bratt and Sharon Stone
Warner Bros
RRP: $27.95
Certificate: PG-13
Available 18 January 2005

Patience Philips is dead - and more alive than ever. Murdered after she learns the secret behind a cosmetic firm's anti-ageing cream, she's revived and empowered by mystical felines. Now she's on the slinky prowl for adventure and revenge. She's Catwoman...

Catwoman wisely keeps away from the Selina Kyle Catwoman that Batman fans worldwide have come to see transformed over the years. This movie reveals that there have been numerous Catwomen over the years dating back to the time of the Egyptian pharaohs.

The movie itself is not as bad as I was expecting - it really wasn't received well on its theatrical release. But it is still riddled with faults. Firstly I wanted to state for the record that all of the actors are faultless. There is not a bad performance here. Sure there are some duff lines, but these are usually given to Berry who does her best and almost succeeds in pulling of lines like: "What a Purrfect crime". Sadly these are so clichéd now that it really made my skin crawl.

But then poor Berry has a history of having to spout duff lines. In X-Men after killing Toad she has to deliver the line: "Do you know what happens to a Toad when it gets struck by lightning? The same thing that happens to everything else." And in the James Bond movie Die Another Day she had loads of really poor lines - most of which has sexual connotations including: "That's a mouthful."

Director Pitof was really thrown in at the deep end - this being his first serious Hollywood movie. And sadly it shows. For God's sake what is wrong with the man? Does he think his audience are all attention deficit? Then why insist on switching the camera angle without fail every two seconds? Also what the hell is with his camera operators. Hand held camera work is not, and has never been, cool or cutting edge. The worst example of this is in the alternate ending where the camera revolves around Berry and Benjamin Bratt as they trade lines and then snog. One minute the camera is circling them clockwise, the next anticlockwise! And it cuts so quickly that it made me feel sick. Didn't Pitof ever go to film school?

Another problem I had was with the CGI. The technology is not at a level yet where a movie's main character can be substituted believably. It just looks comical. See Hulk and Spider-Man as prime examples (even though Spider-Man is a damn entertaining movie).

But by far my biggest gripe was with the plot itself. Now I'm not really going to spoil anything for you here, as everything is set up from very early on, but a great surprise twist in the tale was lost due to some poor story telling. The fact that it is the wife of the head of the cosmetics company, Laurel Hedare (played brilliantly by Sharon Stone) who knows that the cosmetics her husbands company are about to release onto an unsuspecting public can produce some undesirable side effects should have been hidden from the audience. Sadly we know that she is the real brains behind the operation as it is spoon fed to us from the point where Patience is transformed into Catwoman. If, instead, the writers had not shown Stone's involvement, then we would have gone along with Catwoman believing that it was George Hedare who was behind it all the while. Then, as Laurel agrees to help Catwoman but then tries to frame her for murder, we should have been let into the fact that it was her all along. Now that would have proved more interesting surely than the rather lame story we are spoon fed from the beginning.

Also I have a serious problem believing that a cosmetics company would be able to release a product like that onto the market. All it would take is one person to stop using it, start to scar badly and even a muppet would be able to put two and two together and close down Hedare's company. Mind you, having said that, we are polluting are bodies with pharmaceutical carcinogens every day and no one seems to mind.

Sadly I was sent a pan and scanned version of the movie to watch. Yes I know! It's criminal isn't it? But for some reason the American DVD viewing audience like to chose between widescreen and what they term "full screen". Personally, when I've spent a small fortune in kiting myself out with the best DVD player on the market, a surround sound system to rival most cinemas and a widescreen TV that takes up most of my wall... I don't really want to watch the movie in the same format that ITV will no doubt broadcast it in! I want to see the whole bloody picture as though I was in the cinema.

Extras on the disc include some deleted scenes; The Many Faces of Catwoman featurette which is hosted by the bonkers and scary Eartha Kitt and looks back at all of the actresses that have played Catwoman over the years; and finally there is a behind the scenes featurette on the movie - which is not very revealing.

Sadly this movie could have been great. There is a good plot there, but it was badly told. As I mentioned previously all of the actors put in great performances, what a shame the director let everyone down. Very average.

Nick Smithson

Buy this item online
We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal!
Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

$20.96 (Amazon.com)
Full Screen - Region 1 Edition
$20.96 (Amazon.com)
Widescreen - Region 1 Edition
£13.99 (Amazon.co.uk)
Full Screen - Region 1 Edition
£13.99 (Amazon.co.uk)
Widescreen - Region 1 Edition
£10.99 (Amazon.co.uk)
Region 2 Edition

All prices correct at time of going to press.