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Halle Berry's character, Patience Philips, is a shy secretary with few friends who works at the Hedare cosmetics company; she is killed by her boss' scheming wife Laurel after she learns that the company is developing a youth serum with side effects considerably worse than anything sold over-the-counter should have. Patience is subsequently brought back to life and given special, cat-like abilities by Midnight, an Egyptian Mau she earlier encountered and attempted to rescue. Now she must stop Laurel and come to terms with the changes brought on by her abilities as Catwoman.
This film is the victim of Misaimed Marketing... or, perhaps, just misaimed titling. Or maybe it was even deliberate to hook people in. People were attracted to the film because they were hoping to see the Catwoman of the Batman comics - but Halle Berry's character is not her in any way, shape, or form. Since the film is an action picture with supernatural elements, there weren't enough bright spots to overcome the ire that the bait-and-switch caused among Batman (and Catwoman) fans; the negative word-of-mouth sunk the film. It couldn't even claim originality due to heavily borrowing elements from The Crow, the 1989 Batman, and Daredevil (the romantic basketball game was practically lifted verbatim).
The comic this movie was (supposedly) based on can be found here.
Not to be confused with any future Catwoman film that may or may not be made.
This film contains examples of these tropes:
- All-Star Cast
- Animal Motifs: Of course.
- Animal-Themed Superbeing: This version of the character fits Type I of this trope unlike her Type II comic counterpart.
- Artistic License Physics: The scene where Catwoman short circuits the speakers in a club by spraying them with water is a pretty egregious example. Doing this in reality is a sure fire way to get electrocuted yourself.
- At the Opera Tonight: George Hedare takes his mistress to a Cirque Du Soleil-style performance; After the latter gets bored and leaves, Catwoman takes her place and confronts him. When the security officers confronts Catwoman, she jumps off the balcony and on to the stage, then scrambles up the back wall; the audience of course, think this is All Part of the Show.
- Back From the Dead: How Patience becomes Catwoman.
- Bad Guy Bar
- Cardboard Prison: Patience breaks out of jail by squeezing through the bars due to her supposedly cat-like powers.
- Cat Fight: The film's climax.
- Catgirl: Three guesses who (and the first two don't count).
- Cats Are Magic: They have the power to bring you back from the dead and transform you into a magical super-stripper.
- Cats Hate Water: Patience does not like rain.
- Coolest Club Ever
- Corrupt Corporate Executive
- Crazy Cat Lady: The heroine's mentor, believe it or not.
- Dating Catwoman: Patience a.k.a. Catwoman and Tom Lone, although Tom doesn't know about her alter ego at first.
- Designated Girl Fight: Between Patience and Laurel.
- Disney Villain Death: Laurel goes out this way.
- Fair Cop: Tom Lone.
- Fan Service: To quote Roger Ebert:
"There are three good things in Catwoman: Halle Berry's face, Halle Berry's body, and Halle Berry's costume. Those are first-rate. Everything else in this movie is unbelievably bad."
- Also, there's a scene toward the end where the Big Bad is lathering herself up with the poisonous makeup cream. Distractingly sexy.
- Fountain of Youth: With a twist; continued use deadens the nerves and makes the skin like "marble," but if you stop using it, your face will decay.
- In Name Only: Go read a Catwoman comic. Any Catwoman comic. Then compare it to this movie. See any resemblance whatsoever? No? Neither did anyone else.
- Irony: It's entirely possible that this bomb of a movie saved Halle's career rather than sinking it. After her Oscar win, Halle had developed a reputation for being a raging diva. However, when this movie tanked, it served as a kick in the gut and brought her back down to Earth. Her accepting the Golden Raspberry award in person didn't hurt, either.
- May Contain Evil: Evil cosmetics. Yes, really.
- Ms. Fanservice: Catwoman, of course.
- No One Could Survive That
- Old Shame: For Miss Berry in years to come:
"First of all, I want to thank Warner Bros. Thank you for putting me in a piece of shit, God-awful movie[...] It was just what my career needed."
- The context for that quote: She said it at the Razzies as she accepted her award for "Worst Actress". The entire time, she was holding her Oscar for Monster's Ball in the other hand. Publicly reminding people that she is usually a good actress; the movie was just THAT bad.
- Pet Homosexual: One of Patience's few friends is this.
- The Power of Love: In a manner of speaking.
- Sexy Discretion Shot: This happens on Patience's second date with Tom.
- Shallow Love Interest: Tom Lone. Really, what else do we know about him other than he's in love with Patience? He's a cop. Although even that may not be saying much...
- Shout-Out: When being educated about the catwomen through time, one of the pictures thrown down is from Batman Returns, a shot of Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman.
- Shrinking Violet: Patience at the beginning of the film.
- Spy Catsuit: Patience wears one at first. She later ditches it for a somewhat less tasteful outfit.
- Stealth Sequel: To the Batman films, notably, Batman Returns. Her origin is identical to the one played by Michelle Pfeiffer, the Catwoman persona is said to be a Legacy Character, and in the pictures of former "Catwomen", we see Michelle Pfeiffer's original character.
- Stripperiffic: Much of the hatred from the movie, at least at first, stemmed from the fact that Berry's costume looked less like the real Catwoman and more like some kind of porno/DragQueen version thereof. The making-of material reveals (no, not visually) that the top to the costume had a tendency to pop off -- so often that it actually became annoying to everyone on the set.
- Theme Song Power Up
- Your Cheating Heart: George Hedare is shown having a mistress, which his wife already knows about.