You know, I started writing this intro at least five or six times trying to explain the bad 4.6 IMDb rating of this movie. Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that there’s no mystery or some strange series of events that led to this. Simply put, this is not that good of a movie despite its intriguing premise. Catch .44 is an easygoing crime thriller about a drug deal that went wrong in all the possible ways. I would best describe as an attempt to make a slicker, sexier and more American Guy Ritchie movie. We must also mention Tarantino and not just because of Bruce Willis.
It’s most similar to his Grindhouse segment Death Proof. The story tries to build these larger-than-life characters out of pretty much nothing as the script is really uninspired. However, almost the entire cast gave it everything they got and actually made this movie watchable. Forest Whitaker and Malin Akerman were excellent along with Shea Whigham. Bruce Willis tried to be someone slick and cool but ultimately failed. Still, his screen presence is excellent and I respect the fact that he’s willing to work in these cheaper productions.
Although considering that the budget for this movie was $10 million, it all depends on how you look at it. So, Bruce plays Mel, a crime boss who sends his three sexy associates to fuck up his rival’s drug deal. The deal is taking place late at night in a diner and everything that can go wrong will go wrong in that diner. I know what you’re thinking right now: hey Rabbit this doesn’t sound so bad. We’ve got an iconic location, intriguing characters, and an imminent clusterfuck, what could possibly go wrong? Well, just about everything.
Storytelling is messy and the story itself although simplistic is told in a convoluted way. The pacing is quite slow and despite constant promises of greatness, Catch .44 remains just a barely watchable movie. It tries so hard to be a style-over-substance movie that it eventually fails both of these categories. With all of this being said, I still have to add that if you don’t expect wonders, it might even surprise you. Positively surprise you to be perfectly clear. The running time is short, the performances excellent, and the cinematography quite good.
Additionally, there will also be a couple of twists that infuse the story with much-needed energy. Finally, as soon as I saw the movie Pawn, I had to come back and mention it in this movie recommendation. Now, that’s a movie you need to watch. Perhaps you should make it a “clusterfuck in a diner” movie night and watch both movies in one go.
Director: Aaron Harvey
Writers: Aaron Harvey, Diego Garzon
Cast: Malin Akerman, Reila Aphrodite, Forest Whitaker, Shea Whigham, Bruce Willis, Deborah Ann Woll
Fun Facts: When Tes (Malin Akerman) plays a song she likes from the eighties, she actually plays The Return of Bruno by Bruce Willis. The album as released back in 1987 and was a huge success.