Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

It's time to ask ourselves if 2004's Catwoman is the worst superhero movie ever made

Illustration for article titled It's time to ask ourselves if 2004's Catwoman is the worst superhero movie ever made
Screenshot: The Cosmonaut Variety Hour (YouTube)

Nowadays, it’s hard to remember a time when superhero movies could be bad in a unique enough way that they actually stuck out. The action movie subgenre, aside from the occasional weirdo exception, has now been defined into a market-friendly template too formulaic to allow for the kind of unfettered creativity that leads to truly awful stuff like 2004's notoriously terrible Catwoman. It’s sort of nostalgic, then, to watch the latest entry to The Cosmonaut Variety Hour’s series on the worst superhero movies ever made and see that something like the Halle Berry disaster was even allowed to exist in the first place.

One line from the video does a good job summarizing why Catwoman deserves singling out: “This movie just kind of does whatever it wants, it doesn’t care if things happen for a reason, and once you start to understand a scene you just get distracted by either awful editing or equally awful CGI or both.” To illustrate this, the video shows off a full litter box of great moments, such as a CGI cat breathing magic cat powers into Halle Berry’s face, her playing superhuman basketball with Benjamin Bratt, and a few examples of the movie’s frantic editing and horrible dialogue. It also runs down a strangely complicated plot that involves Berry’s Catwoman fighting a scheme to sell “evil face cream” sold by a corporation led by an evil Sharon Stone who has cosmetics-enabled super strength.


Still, The Cosmonaut Variety Hour also points out that “in every single scene you get something hilarious, like Oscar Award-winner Halle Berry acting like a cat” before showing a few solid examples of just that. The video notes that the whole thing is actually so bad it’s fun to watch, which is the kind of thing you don’t really get from superhero movies anymore.

Matt Reeves’ upcoming Robert Pattinson-led version of Batman (sorry, THE Batman) seems like it will probably at least be okay, especially given its cast is made up of good actors like Jeffrey Wright, Paul Dano, and Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman. But, if it’s not going to be downright excellent, the least it could do is liven up the theaters a little bit by taking notes from Berry’s Catwoman and sucking in a way that distinguishes itself from the competition.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.