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YMMV / Catwoman (2004)

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  • 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.
  • Awesome Music:
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    • The basketball scene has "Scandalous" by Mis Teeq played over it. It's widely considered to be the group's best song, and was a hit in the group's native UK - enough that many fans even forget it appeared in this movie. Some would say it comes close to making the basketball scene watchable.
    • 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.
  • 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.
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  • Bile Fascination: One has to watch the film to get why people poke fun at it.
  • 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.
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  • Evil Is Sexy: Sharon Stone, banking on her Basic Instinct sex appeal, playing the villainess Laurel.
  • 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. The film puts Halle Berry in a Stripperiffic version of the heroine's comic book outfit. But it's so skimpy it looks more like bondage gear, and thus it's slightly uncomfortable to look at. Additionally, Patience gets a radical makeover that gives her an unflattering hairstyle, too much make-up, and another black leather Spy Catsuit. Yes, the movie decided that Halle Berry needed a makeover.
  • 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.
  • Girl-Show Ghetto: This movie's failure, along with that of Elektra was long used by studios as a justification that female-led action fare didn't sell. It took the Box Office successes of The Hunger Games, Snow White and the Huntsman and Divergent in The New '10s to finally shake that thinking off.
    • Critics were swift to point out that the villain's evil scheme involving killer make-up is ridiculously sexist for a movie that marketed itself on being empowering to women.
  • Ham and Cheese: Frances Conroy seemed to realise what kind of movie she was in, and hammed it up delightfully to make Ophelia Powers seem even more nuts. She looks like she's enjoying making an Oscar winning actress go mad for catnip.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Frances Conroy would in a couple of years play a similar eccentric Mr. Exposition figure in another contender for one of the worst films ever made.
  • 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. Some fans even think she looks better that way.
  • 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 who usually writes 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 numerous women who'd either just bought or regularly used her cosmetics back to her and her company. In fact, if Patience had just done nothing at all, the regular authorities would still have taken care of everything in quick order. Honest Trailers even points this out in their video on the film.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Although the film was aimed at women, most people who watched it were neither female nor doing it for any other reason than Fanservice. Another of the few redeeming qualities of the film is its choreography, which mixes all the fanservice with surprisingly neat Capoeira.
  • Memetic Mutation: Ophelia Powers's "male academia" is sometimes used to underline the ratio of male to female writers in film or other media. Lindsay Ellis previously used it to illustrate the Girl-Show Ghetto regarding female superhero movies.
  • 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:
  • 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).
  • 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:
  • 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:
  • 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.
  • What an Idiot!: Against all advice and warnings, Laurel continues with her plan to roll out her toxic and addictive face cream, with the justification that the worst side effects — aka facial disintegration — only happen if you stop using the product. Never mind the fact that at least some people will seek medical advice about the lesser side effects of the cream (like the headaches Sally's been getting) their skin becoming hard as marble if they keep using it, and their faces melting if they stop using it; plus the media or police will soon be able to spot a pattern when several of Laurel's customers die or are hospitalized in a very distinctive fashion. Even in the unlikely event that no one does die, there's still going to be a class action lawsuit the likes of which have never been seen.
  • 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.

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