Sommerleigh Pollonais, Senior Writer
Plot: The film follows Catwoman in an attempt to steal a priceless jewel. This puts her squarely in the crosshairs of a powerful consortium of villains, Interpol and Batwoman.
Review: Everyone has their favourite DC Heroes, Villains and everything in between, and by that I mean those characters that have one foot in the light and one in the shadows. For me that character has and still is Catwoman so it won’t surprise you to know the thought of finally seeing a proper standalone animated movie about my favourite female DC comic anti-hero had me all excited. Throw in some stellar voice work and anime-inspired artwork and you just might come out with the perfect recipe for Catwoman: Hunted.
Some comic book characters seem tailor-made for the anime art form. Batman, Green Lantern and John Constantine all come to mind. Catwoman is no exception as her sleek style, acrobatic combat skills and penchant for taking shiny things that don’t belong to her (all while dropping sassy dialogue) brings to mind similar anime characters such as Lupin The Third or the crew of Cowboy Bebop. Director Shinsuke Terasawa has actually worked on Lupin III: The Pursuit of Harimao’s Treasure, Hellsing Ultimate and a slew of other anime so it’s no surprise this particular art style features so heavily here, as does the musical score that is heavily featured in these types of heist based anime series.
The voice cast is also chock full of talent and recognisable performers with Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: TNG) as King Faraday, Lauren Cohan (The Walking Dead) as Julia Pennyworth, Stephanie Beatriz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) coming off her stellar job as Mirabel in the much lauded Encanto, as Batwoman, Kelly Hu (X2) returning once again to voice Cheshire and Keith David (Greenleaf) as Tobias Whale, just to name a few. But I have to give top marks to my favourites here and those go to Kirby Howell-Baptiste (The Good Place) as Barbara Minerva and Elizabeth Gillies (Dynasty, Victorious) as Selena Kyle aka Catwoman.
If you’re familiar with Gillies as an actress then you know she seemed born to play Catwoman, or at the very least voice her, and damn if she doesn’t hit it out the park. Catwoman is meant to be sultry, cunning, sly and deceptively charming and Gillies brings all of these facets to glorious life in a way I haven’t heard since seeing Michelle Pfeiffer don the suit. I know she’ll probably never portray a live action version of this character but if the opportunity ever comes up I know who I’m voting for. Same goes for Howell-Baptiste who, when you think about it, is a perfect antithesis to Catwoman.
The action set pieces, while highly energetic, weren’t the best I’ve seen. Though I did appreciate the aesthetics, they didn’t flow quite as well as I hoped for and a lot of it looked like what you would expect from a Saturday morning cartoon and not an animated movie with a bigger budget. That said, the final fight sequence between Catwoman and Minerva was everything I could ask for and I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. You know they’ve got something special when you find yourself that invested in the outcome of an animated feature.
Overall Catwoman: Hunted delivers on its premise and its choice of art form. Unlike Batman Ninja that leaned WAY TOO HARD into the anime motif, Catwoman strikes just the right balance, and in doing so leaves you room to thoroughly immerse yourself into the story without feeling like you’re missing the big picture. It’s not perfect but it gets the character right, and when it comes to a Catwoman movie, that’s saying a lot!
Sommer’s Score: 6.5 out of 10
And you can check more animated content from the world of the Dark Knight below:
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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