Look What The Cat Dragged In

The theme of Batman is that of a traumatized millionaire who encounters villains who have descended even more deeply into madness than he has. The trick to successfully transplanting this on film is to create screen villains who are at least as witty and engaging as they are tragic. Nicholson, Jones, and Carrey pulled it off. (I have not seen Batman and Robin.) But Batman Returns is a depressing flick that makes Hamlet look optimistic by comparison, even though the body count in the latter is much higher. The insanity of Penguin and Catwoman is so overwhelming that the audience has little sense of victory after Batman wins in the end.
The most ludicrous character is Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman. Her origins are downright silly, even by comic book standards: she is pushed out a window several stories high, licked into consciousness by stray cats, vandalizes her own apartment, and develops a feline obsession, leather fetish, and cornball feminist braggadocio (“I am Catwoman, hear me roar”).
But at least the costume looks good. I haven’t seen the flick, but I’ve seen stills from Halle Berry’s Catwoman, and if this is the start of a trend it looks like the new generation of superheroines and supervillainesses will be outfitted by misogynous French fashion designers. Berry’s costume is more unattractive than sexy, and the mask is downright ugly. Patience Phillips? The James Bond molls don’t have names that goofy.

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2 comments

  1. yobbo

    I beg to differ. Denise Richards characters’ name was Christmas. And the big haw-haw at the end was “And I thought Christmas only cums ONCE a year!” Teehheeeehehehe oh god that was dumb.

  2. Alan K. Henderson

    Actually Verity (Madonna’s cameo) sounds goofier than the Lara-Croft-wardrobed Christmas Jones. I still think Patience wins by a nose.
    The James Bond puns have always been worse than the names, especially in recent years. Two of the worst were “I think he’s attempting re-entry, sir” (Q, in Moonraker) and “You always were a cunning linguist, James” (Moneypenny, in Tomorrow Never Dies).