Sunday, March 12, 2017

Movie Review: "Catfight" (2017)

Image Source
Director: Onur Tukel
Year: 2017
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 36 minutes

A wealthy trophy wife named Veronica runs into Ashley, an old college classmate and a struggling artist, at a party. After a disagreement, the pair physically dukes it out, leaving Veronica in a coma that leads to a reversal of fortune for these two rivals. 

"Catfight" is written and directed by Onur Tukel. It stars Sandra Oh as Veronica,  a housewife married to a wealthy defense contractor, played by Damian Young. She runs into an old college friend named Ashley, played by Anne Heche, at a party for her husband's business partner. Ashley is a struggling artist who is helping her girlfriend Lisa, played by Alicia Silverstone, cater the party. After a disagreement, Veronica and Ashley have an all-out brawl, putting Veronica in a coma, which leads to a drastic reversal of fortune for both of them as Ashley's art takes off as soon as Veronica's life goes to hell.

This film is meant to be a dark comedy with a heavy-handed dose of political satire. Unfortunately, there is no delicacy or nuance into the way Tukel delivers his message. Everything he wants to say is quite ham-fisted and only modestly funny. This movie takes place in what seems like an alternate reality, though it does make references to the 2016 presidential election candidates and not in a subtle way as Veronica's crazy aunt, played by Amy Hill, describes the personalities of three trees she has named Bernie, Hillary, and Donald. In this reality, the United States has been plunged back into a war in the Middle East, and the draft has been reinstated with the age limit changed from 18 to 16. For some reason, much of the decor and technology looks like it's right out of the 1970's and 1980's, further leading to the time period confusion. Most people get their news from a talk show that discusses politics in-depth, only to be immediately followed by something called "the fart machine." We understand the sentiment of what is trying to happen here because most news now will shift from photos and reports of the hellfire of battle straight to stories about Justin Bieber pissing into buckets and who the president is currently flaming with on Twitter. We get it, but it still doesn't change the fact that it is handled in a goofy manner.

The cat fights themselves are quite brutal in an over-exaggerated manner, especially when it comes to the sound effects that come with the punches thrown by both women. It also addresses things like the outrageous cost of healthcare, as well as overprotective mothers who take their preparation for parenting to the extreme. There is a bit of irony that Alicia Silverstone plays this new age mother parody, especially considering she has baby-birded her own children in real life and is the exact type of mother Tukel is making fun of. Another huge detriment here is the pacing. "Catfight" is not overly long, but it kind of dawdles on by and seems to drag at times despite being a mere 96 minutes in length.

Sometimes, indie films are winners, and every once in a while, we find a hidden gem, but there are plenty that are just plain ol' forgettable. "Catfight" is definitely the latter.

My Rating: 6/10
BigJ's Rating: 5/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 76%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

No comments:

Post a Comment