There are certain principles that I have found to be true. Reality is flexible. Luck is good but skill is better (except for the lottery). All the world's a stage -- so don't trip. After seeing Catwoman, I discovered a new principle: There is more than enough t&a in the world that one doesn't need to sit through a horrible movie to see it. Halle Berry looks great in her Catwoman costume -- and that's the sum total of good things I can say about this movie.

In the movie, Halle Berry plays Patience Phillips a timid, mousy, disheveled graphic designed for a cosmetics company run by George Hedare (Lambert Wilson) and his wife Laurel (Sharon Stone). One night Patience is at work late and learns that George and Laurel know their new signature cream is unsafe -- so, like all business executives, they kill her. In a scene pretty much lifted from The Crow, Patience is brought back from the dead as cats circle around her, and she now has cat powers!

So, what's a wimp with powers to do? She puts together two costumes for secret missions. She flirts with handsome police detective Tom Lone (Benjamin Bratt, of Law and Order fame). She foils a jewel robbery, steals the jewels herself, then returns them. (I didn't understand it either.) She gets a whip, investigates the company that had her killed, and fights lots of generic thugs. And she acts more and more like a cat.

Where to start with this train wreck of a film... It's hard to believe that Halle Berry won an Oscar as she purrs, hisses, and delivers a painfully campy performance here. Benjamin Bratt is wasted, Sharon Stone's one-dimensional villain makes me believe her promise as an actress peaked back with Basic Instinct, and Mad TV star Alex Borstein is utterly forgettable as Patience's friend Sally.

But it's a superhero movie, so how's the action? Not much better. The cgi is painfully obvious when Catwoman swings and bounces from building to building -- who knew computers could re-create Middle Earth but fail to animate a superheroine? The fight scenes are stiff, and the final showdown with Laurel is dull.

Catwoman isn't the worst superhero movie ever -- that dubious honor remains with Pumaman -- but it is a true disaster of a movie. (Halle Berry probably agrees with this description: She showed up to accept her Razzie for Worst Actress for this film.) If you want to admire Halle Berry's bod, enjoy the pics here or look up more online. If you want to pick a good superhero movie, watch any one (except Pumaman) and you'll suffer less than if you sit through Catwoman.

Overall grade: F

Reviewed by James Lynch

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