Catwoman: Hunted (2022)

Rating: **
Review Date: 4/9/23
Cast: Elizabeth Gillies, Stephanie Beatriz, Keith David, Kelly Hu, Johathan Frakes

"I'm not smiling anymore."

After freeing a bunch of young women from Leviathan's human trafficking operation, Catwoman (Elizabeth Gillies) steals a precious emerald from a Leviathan costume ball, ensuring that she becomes their number one enemy. But Batwoman (Stephanie Beatriz) stops her from getting away, and both she and Julia Pennyworth of Interpol press her into service to take down Leviathan's top crime bosses. What follows is a crazy fight between monsters, demons, power suits, the League Of Assassins, Black Mask, Solomon Grundy, and Cheetah.

It's interesting to see Catwoman rendered as a Japanese anime film, and it immediately looks, sounds, and feels like a Lupin III adventure. Unfortunately, the tone is completely wrong and the forced sexuality is awkward and grating. The dialog is awful and the voice acting is cringe-worthy. However, I think the director is more to blame for this than the actors are. The film looks good for the most part and the characters look great, but the CGI cars look severely out of place and don't fit in with the rest of the aesthetic. The story definitely goes overboard with the inclusion of outrageous supernatural elements, and by the time an extremely annoying Solomon Grundy showed up, I just wanted it to be over. There's clearly a lot of DC continuity that I'm missing, which often left me confused since the only characters I knew anything about were Selina Kyle and Talia Al Ghul. And while it's great to see a female-dominated cast with Catwoman and Batwoman kicking butts, the results are unsatisfying and sorely lacking. The filmmakers' misguided and outdated feminist agenda ends up backfiring and turns the movie into an exercise of sexist absurdity rather than a showcase of empowerment.