Cat Run is by no means a terrible film and does hold some entertainment value, but save for one of the characters, it’s mostly forgettable – yes, even with an abundant amount of female nudity at the beginning. This is the kind of movie that borrows from other films though if you like the cast and have nothing better to watch, then it might be worth giving this a whirl.
Genre(s): Action, Comedy
Universal | R – 107 min. – $26.98 | June 19, 2012
Directed by: John Stockwell
Writer(s): Nick Ball & John Niven (written by)
Cast: Paz Vega, Janet McTeer, Alphonso McAuley, Scott Mechlowicz, Christopher McDonald
Theatrical Release Date: April 1, 2011
Features: Commentary, Featurette, Deleted Scenes
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.35
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: 33.0 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
THE MOVIE – 2.75/5
“Run. Fight. Survive.” Borrow.
As has been said, imitation is the highest form of flattery and it would seem filmmakers like Guy Ritchie and Joe Carnahan should be greatly flattered by John Stockwell’s latest offering, Cat Run, an action-comedy which isn’t terrible but not exactly very good either…
The story follows Catalina Rosa (PAZ VEGA) is a high-end call girl hired, when the movie opens, to attend a party hosted by a arms dealer, Carver (KAREL RODEN), for which a United States Defense Secretary, Bill Krebb (CHRISTOPHER MCDONALD), is also in attendance amongst numerous other nude hookers; sorry fellas, Vega keeps her clothes on.
The next scene we cut to and meet Anthony (SCOTT MECHLOWICZ), a motivated entrepreneur whose restaurant business is on the slide despite the beautiful locale. When he runs into childhood friend Julian (ALPHONSO MCAULEY), the pair reconnect where Julian suggests the two should go into business together as private detectives because apparently that’s where the money is (according to some television guru). Meanwhile, the two briefly meet Catalina as she makes a frantic call from the restaurant pay phone to a best friend, after which she steals Anthony’s cell phone and Julian’s POS car, going on the run.
Julian and Anthony’s plans to start an agency is still a-go and they set up an office in a loft above a porn theater where they discover the woman they met earlier has an article stating she’s missing. And of course, because Anthony decides to take this as their first case, but unbeknownst to them, this is a ruse set up by a crafty and effective assassin named Helen Bingham (JANET MCTEER). She’s been hired to find Catalina and retrieve a hard drive she had stolen containing footage of the events that had happened that night, including Krebb’s accidental killing of one of the prostitutes, something intended to use as blackmail if need be.
Now the pair of bumbling private detectives has placed themselves in the middle of a conspiracy but Julian is persistent wanting to help Catalina out of her mess, especially after the body count begins to rise and the dynamic duo get in the crosshairs of the dapper female assassin.
Cat Run is type of movie which heavily relies on its dark comedic elements to its failure or success and although there are scenes that one can get a chuckle at, on the whole it fall flat. Even so, the cast isn’t too bad, with Paz Vega (Spanglish, The Spirit) being serviceable as the sexy woman at the center of it all, Scott Mechlowicz (“Scotty” from EuroTrip) as the geek desperate to get the girl, Alphonso McAuley (“Breaking In”) playing the black funny sidekick and Christopher McDonald in his obligatory cameo role (wish he was in it more).
However, the highlight of the film, and somebody who deserves her own spin-off, is Janet McTeer. Obviously she’s not a household name but McTeer has been nominated twice for the Academy Award for Best Actress (Tumbleweeds) and Supporting Actress (Albert Nobbs). Alongside Mechlowicz, she’s the only other character to have an arc, not only that, but she’s probably the only other fun character. As I said, McTeer should get her own movie, especially since she’s arguably the best aspect of this movie.
The action in the movie isn’t spectacular or particularly memorable, but it’s good enough to keep the thin plot chugging along at a brisk pace. Interestingly enough, this is director John Stockwell’s best film, but when his filmography includes the likes of Into the Blue (a movie which I loathe), the decent but forgettable horror film Turistas, the thin yet enjoyable Blue Crush and the boring as all hell, Dark Tide, it doesn’t take much to surpass the others. Stockwell is also helming yet another picture about the killing of Osama Bin Laden entitled, Code Name: Geronimo. As with his other films, for Cat Run is, well, run-of-the-mill.
The screenplay from Nick Ball & John Niven is decent enough but borrows from better insane (and inane) action-comedies like Smokin’ Aces and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Although it is an average movie with mostly average characters (save, again, for McTeer), Cat Run does hold some entertainment value, even if it’s entirely forgettable and will be on the cheap shelves in no time.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.25/5
This release comes with a matted slip cover.
Audio Commentary – Director John Stockwell and Producer Bill Perkins sit down for a track which isn’t overly enlightening but the pair are at least keep things semi-lively, especially since there are two participants.
Deleted Scenes (14:30) – There’s a selection of scenes that for one reason or another (most likely pacing) didn’t make it into the final cut. None of them are particularly interesting but at least nice to see once.
Behind the Scenes (15:30) is a generic ‘making-of’ featurette that includes some footage and interviews with members of the cast and crew. Again, it doesn’t really offer any great amount of info about the production.
Previews – Columbus Circle, Rosewood Lane, 188.8.131.52, Being Flynn
VIDEO – 4.0/5
Cat Run sleeks and shoots its way onto Blu-ray with a 1080p high-definition transfer and although I wouldn’t consider it an amazing looking movie, it looks alright on the smaller screen. There is a fine amount of natural film grain/noise and the detail level looks nice. This also looks like a clean transfer, void of pixilation and artifacts.
AUDIO – 3.75/5
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is, like the video, unassuming. For a movie with as much action as there is, I felt those scenes were a tad low key and flat. The dialogue levels, though, sound nice and clear so while I’d hardly call this a vibrant or powerful track, it’s serviceable.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Overall, Cat Run is by no means a terrible film and does hold some entertainment value, but save for one of the characters, it’s mostly forgettable – yes, even with an abundant amount of female nudity at the beginning. This is the kind of movie that borrows from other films though if you like the cast and have nothing better to watch, then it might be worth giving this a whirl.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.