There are times when you say to yourself that you want to watch a movie, but you’re feeling a little more adventurous than usual. Maybe you feel like watching that low budget horror flick that nobody has ever heard of or would rather see that independent thriller starring that one guy you liked in that other film instead of a big budget Hollywood movie.
Sometimes seeing a film that is stripped of all the bells and whistles that most Hollywood blockbusters have reminds you of what a well written, well directed, or well acted film can actually be. That was my initial mindset with Cat Run. I had never even heard of the film until last week when I checked out the restricted trailer (which does contain adult content) for the film. While the film may be intriguing on the surface, the final verdict is that the film is lacking the depth of the films it may remind you of but may still be worth a look if you’re a fan of R-rated action comedies.
Cat Run did a fairly good job of juggling being both humorous and practically making you feel squeamish from the brutal violence shown on screen. Most of the humor in the film is aimed towards the male perspective, so you’ll probably find something in there worth laughing at at some point. Julian (Alphonso McAuley) is also the comic relief of the film and he does have his moments that’ll make you laugh out loud. Meanwhile Helen Bingham (Janet McTeer) is one of the coolest assassins to be introduced in a film in quite some time. She’s English and is all about being polite and minding manners, but is also incredibly ruthless. The various different types of torture she applies to others just to receive information is a bit shocking at first. Her scene with Ryder (Radik Golovkov) illustrates this point quite well. There are some pretty graphic headshots in this, severed limbs, and just a bucket or two of blood along the way. Cat Run can best be described as the lovechild of Smokin’ Aces and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
On the other hand though, Cat Run does have a lot of things working against it. The main one being that it feels like there is entirely too much going on in the film. As soon as the film starts, we’re introduced to what feels like a good dozen characters. And while the film may be reminiscent of Smokin’ Aces and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, it’s not as good as either film. It’s missing that standout performance, incredible ending, and/or dialogue witty enough to actually remember after you leave the theater. The editing style was also fairly annoying. The screen was split off into two and sometimes three different sections similar to what was done regularly on 24, but it seemed to serve no purpose whatsoever in Cat Run. When they all go to Helen’s house to decide their next move, it’s like the cameraman decided to wait outside and film the scene through the window while it was closed. It was probably an attempt to try something different, but it just didn’t work and lasted a bit too long. Speaking of Helen, most characters in the film other than her are rather flat and boring. They’re either not around long enough to make a lasting impression or just aren’t fleshed out properly. D.L. Hughley is an ex-marine that is missing an arm and both of his legs and other than still being perfectly capable of doing things on his own; we don’t get to spend enough time with him to care about what happens to his character. There are all these characters in Cat Run that have an interesting characteristic or two, but there’s no depth to them and they wind up feeling one dimensional.
Cat Run is still a fun action comedy in a brainless, popcorn entertainment kind of sense, but it’ll have the same effect that Battle: Los Angeles did; it’s just going to make you want to go home and re-watch the films it reminds you of. Cat Run has a few jokes that’ll make you snicker, but also contains a bit more gore than you’re probably expecting. Not to mention it wastes little time getting to T&A. I mention that as a supporter of both blood and nudity in film. Its one dimensional characters and hyperactive storyline hurt the film more than anything else. Fans of action films will be in an explosive, breast-heavy, bullet-ridden heaven, while fans of well-developed story lines and well thought-out characters will probably walk away disappointed.