Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Zach Galifianakis Takes On Brad Pitt In Latest 'Between Two Ferns' Plus Louis C.K. Stops By Watch: Zach Galifianakis Takes On Brad Pitt In Latest 'Between Two Ferns' Plus Louis C.K. Stops By Watch: First Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron,' Brings Mass Destruction Along With Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver Watch: First Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron,' Brings Mass Destruction Along With Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver Watch: 'Star Wars' Prequels Recut Into 2 Hour 40 Minute 'Turn to the Darkside: Episode 3.1' Watch: 'Star Wars' Prequels Recut Into 2 Hour 40 Minute 'Turn to the Darkside: Episode 3.1' Edward Norton Says He Didn't Return To Play Hulk Because He Wanted More "Diversity" In His Film Roles Edward Norton Says He Didn't Return To Play Hulk Because He Wanted More "Diversity" In His Film Roles Oscar Buzz: Who Could Be Set For Nods In The Supporting Actress Race? Oscar Buzz: Who Could Be Set For Nods In The Supporting Actress Race? Juliette Binoche Says Her Performance In 'Godzilla' Made Quentin Tarantino Cry Juliette Binoche Says Her Performance In 'Godzilla' Made Quentin Tarantino Cry Listen To Chvrches "Get Away" From The Rescored Version Of Nicolas Winding Refn's 'Drive' Plus Check Out The Trailer Listen To Chvrches "Get Away" From The Rescored Version Of Nicolas Winding Refn's 'Drive' Plus Check Out The Trailer The Essentials: The 10 Best Michael Keaton Performances The Essentials: The 10 Best Michael Keaton Performances George Lucas Says Studios "Don't Have Any Imagination And Don't Have Any Talent" George Lucas Says Studios "Don't Have Any Imagination And Don't Have Any Talent" Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 7 ‘Friendless Child’ Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 7 ‘Friendless Child’ Watch: Spoiler-ific Local News Report On 'Batman v. Superman' That Caused WB To Lauch A Lawsuit Watch: Spoiler-ific Local News Report On 'Batman v. Superman' That Caused WB To Lauch A Lawsuit Watch: Baz Luhrmann's Chanel No. 5 Short Film "The One That I Want" Starring Gisele Bündchen Watch: Baz Luhrmann's Chanel No. 5 Short Film "The One That I Want" Starring Gisele Bündchen WTF: Horror Hit 'Annabelle' Yanked From French Theaters Due To Rioting WTF: Horror Hit 'Annabelle' Yanked From French Theaters Due To Rioting Gone Girls And Gone Boys: 11 Films That Dissect Marriage Gone Girls And Gone Boys: 11 Films That Dissect Marriage Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Review: 'Catch .44' Is Fully Loaded With '90s Crime Movie Clichés

The Playlist By Edward Davis | The Playlist December 9, 2011 at 9:57AM

"In The Tradition Of The Usual Suspects And Reservoir Dogs" proclaims the back of BluRay box of the copy we received. If only. The spirit may be willing, but the movie from writer and director Aaron Harvey is weak. Seemingly cobbled together out of leftover ideas from every movie that came in the wake of those aforementioned films, with a big debt owed to Quentin Tarantino, "Catch .44" is a bunch of stylistic choices looking for something resembling a movie to hang on to.
2
catch 44 still

"In The Tradition Of The Usual Suspects And Reservoir Dogs" proclaims the back of BluRay box of the copy we received. If only. The spirit may be willing, but the movie from writer and director Aaron Harvey is weak. Seemingly cobbled together out of leftover ideas from every movie that came in the wake of those aforementioned films, with a big debt owed to Quentin Tarantino, "Catch .44" is a bunch of stylistic choices looking for something resembling a movie to hang on to.

As anyone who watched a crime movie in the post-"Pulp Fiction" wave knows, subverting linear storytelling was a hallmark of every film that immediately followed. So "Catch .44" doesn't just start with one flashback, it starts with two. First we get a brief moment with a voiceover by crime lord Mel (Bruce Willis) before we flip back to the sequence around which the rest of the movie will orbit. A trio of gals -- Tes (Malin Akerman), Kara (Nikki Reed) and Dawn (Deborah Ann Woll) -- are sitting in a diner at 3 AM waiting for their mark who will kick start their latest job for Mel. Before we find out who or what that is, Harvey makes us listen to a rather tedious dissertation by Tes about "faking it" and not just sexually. This is one of those dialogue bits that writers and directors forever try to emulate out of the Tarantino handbook, trying to make the mundane sound profound. Few ever succeed, and Harvey doesn't here. Anyway, when that's over, guns are drawn shots are fired and someone dies! You know what that means -- it's time for the movie's title card and then another flashback to show how the night began and how these girls wound up in so much trouble.

Catch .44

Needless to say to explain the plot any further would be spoil it, but it would also bore the reader as ultimately, it adds up to very little and is not all that original. But a thin story could be forgivable if the characters weren't anything more than a collection of tics. Every person we meet in this movie is accessorized with a quirk. Mel constantly eats pecans; Dawn is a chain smoker, Kara constantly has earbuds in her ears; Tes -- well, she's just The Hot One and Forest Whitaker, plays a vicious killer who constantly switches disguises and accents. When Shea Whigham ("Boardwalk Empire," "Take Shelter") showed up, we breathed a sigh of relief as we hoped his presence would begin to elevate the picture. But given that the last third to half the movie are three characters standing around, pointing guns at each and explaining with endless exposition what is going on, that brief optimism was quickly dashed.

But if there is one area in which the film succeeds, and its with the soundtrack. With songs from Sweet, David Bowie, The Kills, Viva Voce, The Raveonettes and Joe Williams (and also Bruce Willis contributing his version of "Respect Yourself"), it's a pretty good mix of tunes. But too bad Harvey thinks that simply by placing them over scenes that his job is done. It's one thing to curate a good selection of songs, it's another to know how and when to use them and unfortunately there is little rhyme or reason to when they appear, why they appear or what they to do in relation to what is going on in a scene. But if there is one thing Harvey loves to do, it's pump up the soundtrack and film tracking shots from behind as somebody walks up a staircase or through a winding hallway. He must have watched that Copacabana scene from "Goodfellas" a thousand times.

Catch .44

As you might guess, by the time this slim 90 minute film gets to the end the body count is high, the blood is flowing and as always, there is one more twist (that you'll see coming from a mile away). And of course, we end with the same shot we started with...followed by an extra scene during the credits. WINK! Harvey is capable behind the camera, and he certainly knows how to deliver unflinching violence (someone's face gets half blown off), but the story here is hardly worth the effort or narrative trickery. "Catch .44" loads up a bunch of faded genre elements and pulls the trigger, only to find out the safety was still on. [D]

This article is related to: Reviews, Review


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates