Film / Catwoman

"Me-Ouch"
—The headline of the Village Voice review

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Catwoman_poster.jpg

A 2004 superhero film loosely based on the comic book character, Catwoman. VERY loosely.

Patience Phillips (played by Halle Berry), 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 an anti-aging cream that may give good results but comes with severe side effects. 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.


This film contains examples of these tropes:

  • Animal Motifs: Cats, of course.
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: This version of the character fits Type I of this trope ("Animal Abilities"), unlike her Type II ("Animal Alias") comic counterpart.
  • Anti-Hero: Catwoman. Though a hero, she's got no compunctions about roughing up her targets.
  • 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! Not to mention the fact that pure water is not conductive- it would have to at least be salt water to work at all.
  • 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.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Whenever Patience Becomes Catwoman. Probably the only thing to admire in this movie.
  • Cardboard Prison: During her Despair Event Horizon, Midnight appears to Patience by squeezing through the bars of the cell, which leads to Patience breaking out of jail by squeezing through the bars due to her cat-like powers.
  • Cat Girl: Catwoman, of course, wears a cat-themed costume.
  • Cats Are Magic: They have the power to bring you back from the dead and give you their powers.
  • Cats Hate Water: Patience does not like rain.
  • Classy Cat-Burglar: Catwoman again.
  • Conspicuous CGI: All over the place, particularly with Catwoman and various aerial shots of the cityscape.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: George is one and later Laurel is revealed to be this, too.
  • Cosmetic Horror: The cosmetic product produced by Catwoman's enemy Laurel is physically damaging and addictive.
  • Crazy Cat Lady: The heroine's mentor, believe it or not.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Along with Light Is Not Good. In the final fight scene, the leather clad Catwoman is pitted against the white wearing Laurel.
  • Dating Catwoman: Patience a.k.a. Catwoman and Tom Lone, although Tom doesn't know about her alter ego at first.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Patience has one of these after Tom arrests her and Beau-line is still going to be shipped.
  • Digital Destruction: A rare instance of this happening in a film's theatrical release, with virtually all detail on Catwoman's skin being erased so as to make the transitions to her CGI model less jarring. Even the film's other scenes have excessive levels of noise reduction applied.
  • Disney Villain Death: Laurel goes out this way.
  • Driven to Suicide: It's implied that Laurel deliberately allows herself to fall to her death after discovering that her face has become scarred and cracked during her fight with Catwoman.
  • Evil Laugh: George and Laurel have the archetypal Corrupt Corporate Executive Smug Snake chuckle.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: After Patience becomes Catwoman, she cuts off her long lovely curls in exchange for a short, spiky hairdo.
  • Expy: Tom Lone to Batman. Tom even looks a bit like Batman.
  • Fair Cop: Tom Lone.
  • Fanservice:
    "There are three good things in Catwoman: Halle Berry's face, Halle Berry's body, and Halle Berry's costume. Those are first-rate."
    • 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.
  • Gender Flip: Oddly enough, the closest thing in the film to any DC Comics plot element is the resemblance between Laurel's arc and the original Batman comics origin story for Black Mask, the male C-list Batman villain who became comics Catwoman's personal Arch-Enemy during her 2000s solo series.
  • In-Name-Only: Given that the main character isn't even Selena Kyle, you kinda have to expect this trope to be in play. Go read a Catwoman comic. Any Catwoman comic. Then compare it to this movie. Other than the main character being a cat-themed anti-heroine who dresses in black leather and wields a whip, there's no resemblance. If you keep that in mind you'll enjoy this movie a lot more.
  • Make Up Is Evil: Beau-line is a skin cream that causes all sorts of terrible side effects - if you stop using it. See Cosmetic Horror.
  • May Contain Evil: Beau-line, the new line of cosmetics the Hedare company is releasing.
  • My Instincts Are Showing: Happens repeatedly to Patience after she is brought back to life. As to be expected, it freaks her out at first.
  • Obviously Evil: George Hedare, who is clearly established as an antagonist from the first scene he appears in. With Laurel, it's played with. She comes across as an antagonist at first, but later helps Catwoman, and then stabs her in the back.
    • Actually just Laurel is pure evil. George is just a jerk.
  • Pet Homosexual: One of Patience's few friends is this.
  • Satellite 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...
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: This happens on Patience's second date with Tom.
  • 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 Pun: Sharon Stone playing a woman whose skin is like marble due to a side affect of the skin cream she markets.
  • Straw Feminist: When Patience asks Ms. Powers why most people have been oblivious to the existence of the catwomen for centuries and why she's had little success proving it, she chalks it up to "male academia", rather than the fact that her ideas were absolutely ludicrous. It's unclear, however, if they're making fun of her or if the writer feels we're supposed to side with her on this.
  • Stripperiffic: Much of the hatred from the movie, at least at first, stemmed from her revealing costume, which was a departure from the typical full-body catsuit. Your mileage may vary if this is a good thing or not. 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.
    • Lest anyone enjoy that idea too much, keep in mind that it often would have been popping off Berry's stunt double... a man.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/Catwoman