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YMMV / Catwoman

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YMMVs for the comics:

  • Ass Pull: Sam Bradley, Jr. gets revealed as baby Helena's father in the post-One Year Later comics after numerous hints and teases (most obviously the name) that her father was Bruce Wayne. Not only did Selina and Sam barely have a relationship (the night of Helena's conception essentially involves Selina acknowledging Sam finds her attractive and Coitus Ensues) but dedicated fans who did the math on how old Helena was supposed to be, as well as when she supposedly was conceived, noted it made no sense for him to be the father.
  • Broken Base:
    • Probably the biggest split in her fandom is between fans of her 90's ongoing and fans of the one from 2000's. There are of course fans of both, but you'll rarely hear from them.
    • Frank Miller's Batman: Year One Catwoman origin subplot that gives her a past as a professional Dominatrix. Quite a lot of people consider it sexist and blatant Author Appeal that is best ignored, but some argue it is a good addition to her history (if more for what later writers did with it than the original story), that makes her a rare example of a positive, non-stereotypical portrayal of sex workers in fiction.
    • Catwoman being bisexual in the New 52. Some people believe it was handled well and enjoy Selina's relationship with Eiko, others feel DC should have done this with other characters, with larger Homoerotic Subtext and LGBT Fanbase, or not have done it with a character with a previous history of frequent Girl-on-Girl Is Hot innuendo used solely for male-audience fanservice.
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  • Dork Age: Her New 52 book prior to Genevieve Valentine's run is wildly considered to be one.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Catwoman is the most popular love interest of Batman due to her classy cat thief nature and her noble traits.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: The majority of fans tend to ignore the revelation that the father of Selina's post-Crisis daughter Helena was Sam Bradley, Jr. and not Bruce Wayne, with many considering the reveal an Ass Pull at best. And that's including those who like to acknowledge the existence of that storyline at all.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The rooftop sex scene in the first issue of The New 52 run drew a lot of criticism over the excessive sexualization of female comic book characters. In the Rooftops arc of Batman (Rebirth), Batman and Catwoman have sex, again, on a rooftop, only this time it's done in a more romantic and intimate tone, which ended up drawing a lot of critical praise.
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  • Newer Than They Think: Despite being her iconic outfit, she's only worn a black catsuit in the comics since her redesign by Darwyn Cooke in the early 2000s. Prior to that in the post-Crisis era, she usually wore a purple catsuit, and her Golden Age and Bronze Age versions often wore dresses, or leotards over tights. However, her Batman TV incarnations all did wear black leather catsuits, and that probably created the image.
  • Spicy Latina: In post-Crisis continuity until the new 52, she was Cuban on her mother’s side. Who knows if this still is the case.
  • Uncanny Valley: Her third appearance and first costumed one has her costume as a dress, cape, and a full mask/helmet with the appearance of a very realistic furry cat head. It's not so much sexy as deeply creepy.

YMMVs for the film:

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Tom, the detective, is established as being completely oblivious to the fact that his girlfriend and Catwoman are the same person. But, it's actually very possible that he knew they were the same person all along before The Reveal. This is mostly evident by his serious investigation to find out if Patience and Catwoman are the same person and subsequent disappointment after learning the truth.
  • Audience-Alienating Premise:
    • A film about Batman's longtime nemesis Catwoman with no Batman in it was bound to be this, especially if said Catwoman was not even Selina Kyle to begin with. Not helping was the film's higher priority on cat-related puns, Halle Berry's sex appeal, and a scheme involving a very dangerous facial cream.
    • Even more alienating, a movie about female empowerment yet complete with a metric ton of Male Gaze Fanservice was just asking for trouble.
  • Awesome Music:
    • The basketball scene has "Scandalous" by Mis Teeq played over it. It's widely considered to be the group's best song.
    • The main theme for the movie, "Who's in Control" by Natasha Schneider is a song that's considered to be better than the film itself by some.
  • Base-Breaking Character: This incarnation of Catwoman. Either you'll think she's a surprisingly great, entertaining original character or an insultingly cartoony replacement for an incredible comic book character.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: It was clear that the film was riding on Halle Berry's star power and sex appeal to win over audiences, made even more so with the unforgettably stripper-resque catsuit. As brilliantly summed up by Roger Ebert:
    Catwoman is a movie about Halle Berry's beauty, sex appeal, figure, eyes, lips and costume design. It gets those right. Everything else is secondary, except for the plot, which is tertiary.
  • Broken Base: The film's Signature Scene in the basketball game tends to evoke different reactions. Due to how hilariously unappropriate and unapologetic it is, viewers consider it to be either the symbol of all what is wrong with this film or a scene that Crosses the Line Twice and makes a point about how can this film be possibly enjoyed (see Narm Charm below).
  • Complete Monster: Laurel Hedare is the scheming wife of Hedare Enterprises' CEO, George Hedare, who proves herself to be leagues worse than her husband. To obtain more money, she produces a skin care product called Beau-line, which has some side effects that make a woman's skin look like living marble if it is used constantly and can also cause a woman's face to get disfigured if the usage is discontinued. After one of her employees, Patience Phillips, accidentally overhears her plan, Laurel then orders her top henchmen to murder Patience in order to prevent the information from leaking out. After Patience becomes an Anti-Hero known as the Catwoman and tries to find the truth about her death, Laurel then tricks her under the pretense that her husband wants her dead. After Patience finds out the truth, she kills both her husband and a scientist, Dr. Ivan Slavicky, in order to frame Catwoman, and tries to ship the Beau-line products across the world.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Naturally Catwoman falls under this trope, but Sharon Stone's villainous Laurel comes to a close second.
  • Fetish Retardant: Pretty much everything about Patience's look is considered to be a prime example of trying too hard to be sexy, and failing horribly.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Many people pointed out that Patience's boyfriend Tom was an incompetent cop who made a simple investigation needlessly overcomplicated. However, since Tom went to great lengths to see if Patience and Catwoman were the same person it's very possible he took his time solving the case because he didn't want to learn the truth. He was afraid of the possibility that the love of his life was a notorious criminal so he went to extreme lengths to see if it was true because he feared destroying his relationship with her.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Halle Berry playing a woman who is ignored by everyone and looked down upon by others can be seen as harsh since after this film was released Berry's career took a serious hit.
    • Catwoman not gaining a happy romantic relationship with Tom is a lot less entertaining when Batman: Arkham Knight has Batman and Catwoman's relationship sinking at the end of the game as well, with the heroine more heartbroken than in the film.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • This wouldn't be the last time an especially hated movie would inspire a ton of cat puns from critics. The Cat in the Hat, released a year before this movie and Garfield are cat-related films that have negative reception that have similar cat puns from critics.
    • Frances Conroy who played Ophelia Powers, 15 years after the film came out plays Penny Fleck in Joker, which is a better received Batman spin-off movie.
    • Catwoman has received comparisons with Venom due to the lack of the connections to the comics, especially their connections to Batman and Spider-Man respectively.
  • Hollywood Homely: We're supposed to believe pre-transformation Patience is a frumpy plain jane who's ignored by everyone, as if Halle Berry is any less beautiful in baggy clothes and frizzy hair.
  • Idiot Plot:
    • The infamous "handwriting comparison" subplot. The film seems to allude to the notion that Patience/Catwoman was the one to write 'Sorry' on two different coffee cups for Tom, while also trying to use different handwriting in order to hide her identity as Catwoman from him. But in reality, it's the barista that usually write names or words on the coffee cup themselves, not the buyer. This makes the 'handwriting analyst' subplot all the more infuriating since the authorities can just go to the store and simply ask if Patience/Catwoman has visited the store before.
    • It's a mystery how Laurel presumably thought no one could possibly connect the extremely distinctive deaths of several women who'd just bought her cosmetics back to her. In fact, if Patience had just done nothing at all, the regular authorities would still have taken care of everything in quick order.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Although the film was aimed at women, most people who watched it were neither female and nor doing it for other reason that Fanservice. Another of the few redeeming qualities of the film is its choreography, which mixes all the fanservice with surprisingly neat Capoeira.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The security guards pass it by flooding the sewer pipe with Patience still inside of it in order to kill her.
  • Narm:
    • The film tries so hard to make an example against sexism (a heroine starring without her usual male counterparts from the comics, a leitmotif about female independence and a mentor who preaches against male academia) that the fact its villains are a cosmetics corporation that plans to sell toxic skin cream becomes unintentionally hilarious, if not downright offensive. It makes it look like, after so much effort, the writers still didn't believe a female audience would get into a plot unrelated to stereotypically feminine interests.
    • More than a few people compared Patience's Stripperific leather ensemble to a cheap Halloween costume Sexy Whatever Outfit.
  • Narm Charm: While the film is nigh-impossible to take seriously, most of its ridiculousness and over-the-top, Berry-centric titillation are clearly very intentional and don't intend to be anything else. With that idea in mind, it is possible to enjoy the film as if it were just a particularly bizarre, overbudgeted vigilante/martial arts flick (and even some of those who aren't interested in leather or spinning kicks might find it just plain So Bad, It's Good).
  • Never Live It Down: Widely regarded as one of the worst superhero films ever, and the one that very nearly derailed Halle Berry's film career. Its lack of relation to Batman's long-time opponent and over-reliance on Berry's sex appeal was not lost on viewers.
  • Signature Line: "Game over!" "Guess what? It's overtime!"
  • Signature Scene: The basketball scene. Tons of jump cuts and wide angle shots, suggestive actions being performed in front of children, and characters who don't seem even surprised at all the insanity.
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • Every single scene with the CGI Patience is terrible. And they did a lot of CGI. It was so bad that they caked makeup on Halle Berry's skin in an attempt to make it look as textureless as the CGI version.
    • It gets no better with the cityscape or with many of the cats featured onscreen, both of whom are also frequently seen in CGI.
    • When Catwoman lets Laurel fall to her death, Sharon Stone is very clearly replaced by a dummy as she tumbles down.
  • Tainted by the Preview: The trailers already show that the film isn't going to be good.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The overall plot is meant to be evocative of Selina Kyle's plot as Catwoman from Batman Returns (right down to the whole "resurrected and individually reborn by cats" idea), and the scene explaining how various catwomen have existed in history in fact contains a snapshot of her, showing she exists in the film's universe. Given how the film was originally meant to be a spinoff of Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman before it was Screwed by the Lawyers, one has to wonder why Selina Kyle wasn't Patience's mentor instead of the completely new Ophelia Powers.
    • Replacing the make-up with medicine or drugs would've hardly changed the plot and would've made it considerably less sexist to boot.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: Most critics were unanimous in that, costume, mannerisms and film itself aside, Halle Berry really tried her best with the role, despite the fact that she was doing this film literally out of contractual reasons and was likely aware of how would it turn out (she even lampshaded this by accepting her Razzie Award in person and joking about how bad the movie was). Her choreographer Anne Fletcher also did the same with the fight scenes.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Patience's mentor is a crazy cat lady who claims that her theories about Catwomen warriors were shot down because of... male academia. It's probably not the fact that it'd be hard to believe that dead women can be resurrected by cats into becoming superheroes. She never assumed that her theories were shot down because of how crazy she made them sound and instead blames sexism for her troubles.
  • Unnecessary Makeover: The movie decided that Halle Berry of all people needed a makeover, doing this trope twice over.
    • As Patience, she dons even more make-up, cutting her hair drastically short and donning a tight black leather outfit. The make-up puts her in the Uncanny Valley, the haircut screams "early 2000s" and the main outfit she takes is Fetish Retardant. Patience looks far cuter before the ridiculously sexualised makeover.
    • As Catwoman, her Beta Outfit is considered to be far more appropriate (in more ways than one) for the character. Admittedly it's just a leather jacket, tight black pants, and a Domino Mask (she lacks any cat ears), yet many find it far more attractive and evocative of the character than the stripperiffic garb she immediately ditches it for.
  • Values Dissonance: Conceptions of feminism and political correctness have changed so much since the Turn of the Millennium which saw the film's release that this becomes just inevitable nowadays. It can actually be made the point that, regardless of its filmic quality, this movie was Fair for Its Day—it featured a female superhero whose arc went about becoming independent and sexually confident, its male presence was subdued but still positive, and it was led by an actress of color, which is still significantly rare more than a decade later. However, after the culture wars of The New '10s, the character's wild sexualization and the film's usage of a female villain who played with the Light Feminine and Dark Feminine trope rendered the movie impossible to defend as a feminist piece unless you're a sex-positive feminist. The portrayal of a coworker of Patience as a Flamboyant Gay also stands out in a negative light.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: Halle Berry's rather stripper-esque leather ensemble, enlarged cat ears and high-heeled sandals were singled out as such by many viewers and critics. The hat in particular was often compared to a Mickey Mouse cap.

YMMVs for the video game:

YMMVs for the character:

  • Magnificent Bitch: From Catwoman: Soulstealer: Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman, rose up from illegal street fighter to pay for her sister's medical bills to become a skilled member of the league of Assassins in two years. After discovering a way to use Lazarus pit formula to cure her dying sister, Selina leaves the league and heads back to Gotham City where she starts a crime spree in order to recruit both a skilled biochemist to help her complete it in Poison Ivy and a way to contact The Joker and make a deal with him in Harley Quinn. Starting a massive, flashy crime spree to take control of the criminal underworld and outwitting Luke Fox's attempts to evade her, Selina lets herself get captured eventually, knowing she'll be transferred to Arkham Asylum due to the infamy shes gained and uses Joker and his army to defeat The League of Assassins members who've come for her, by promising it to him, only to backstab him and hand him over to the police. Selina is a cunning, seductive figure who genuinely grows to care for Harley, Ivy and Luke and ends the book succeeding with her plans to save her sister, heading off for her next heist.


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