MOVIE: *1/2 (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
Every now and then, a direct-to-video movie comes out that rises above the rest of the pack. “Cat Run” is not one of those movies. In fact, it fits exactly into the feel of a direct-to-video movie, only without the charm and nostalgia that comes with films from a decade or more ago.
“Cat Run” is a schizophrenic tale about a prostitute named Catarina (Paz Vega) with a heart of gold trying to make a living hooking big fish politicians. However, when one of the politicians (Christopher MacDonald) goes berserk and kills one of her own, she goes on the run. She accidentally crosses paths with a wannabe chef named Anthony (Scott Mechlowicz) working in the tropics. Together, they make an unlikely team to take out the killers coming for Catarina.
This movie is fiercely uneven, feeling like two different movies got drunk and had a sloppy love child that now no one wants. On one hand, it’s trying to be an international thriller along the lines of “Taken.” On the other hand, it feels like a failed effort at a pilot to a CW show. If only the film could decide on its direction or its audience, it might have actually stood a chance.
Mechlowicz plays the schlub too well, and he’s not-so-balanced with a painfully stereotyped best friend who’s all about girls and money. They’re bumbling at best, and even the sexiness that Paz Vega brings to the table can’t make the characters very likeable.
In fact, the only redeeming quality of this film is the cold-hearted hit man (or rather hit woman) that is sent after the main characters. Played by Oscar-nominee Janet McTeer, this character shows some actual depth and a bit of a fleshed-out character. If the entire film had been her journey, not distracted by the main characters stumbling around, it might have been a solid flick.
Sure, there are some action moments that work to a degree, and the movie is competently put together. However, I expected more from director John Stockwell, who had once shown some signs of being a good filmmaker but now languishes in direct-to-video purgatory.
The “Cat Run” Blu-ray is relatively slim on the number of special features, and there are no innovative extras in the mix. However, it has some decent basic features, including a feature commentary, deleted scenes and a behind-the-scenes featurette. Oh, and did I mention there’s a lot of boobs in it?