Shy and downtrodden graphic designer Patience Phillips (Halle Berry) works for a cosmetics empire headed by Laurel Hedare (Sharon Stone). When Patience inadvertently discovers the firm's new 'Beau-line' causes hideous deformities, she is subsequently killed. But an apparently magical Egyptian Mao cat breathes new life into her, endowing Patience with the speed, agility and senses of a feline -- and so Catwoman is born. Since she cannot remember what happened to her, the now confident superhero sets out to discover who killed her and why.
As the title character, Berry is passable playing two sides of the same woman, and the slinky costume she creates shows her figure to great advantage. Stone puts in a good effort as the tough-as-nails CEO, but once again proves she will never be an accomplished thespian. Benjamin Bratt plays a detective and love interest for Patience, but there is clearly no chemistry between them. Lambert Wilson as Stone's husband is aggravating, but MadTV's Alex Borstein is amusing as Berry's best friend.
Directed by French special effects guru Pitof in his first Hollywood film, Catwoman pales in comparison to other comic-book adaptations like Spiderman. The entire movie seems to have been thrown together with little thought. The deficient screenplay has gaping plot holes, with no suspense or wonder, and Catwoman's coy remarks quickly become tiresome. As Patience unravels the clues behind her murder, it would have been more interesting for the audience to assemble them along with her. However, it is interesting to note that this Catwoman is supposedly one in a long line of reborn femme fatales (including Selina Kyle as played by Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns).
Catwoman is a weak movie that fails to offer anything new or stimulating; even the special effects are second-rate. Although Warner is hoping it will become a new lucrative franchise, this kitty doesn't deserve nine lives. Rating: 3 out of 10.