After watching this trailer, my question is this: is Catch .44 really a movie? Or is it an ad for a new game show entitled Mexican Stand-off, where each contestant is given a deadly weapon and a disturbing piece of info about one or more of their fellow contestants before being pushed into a room with them?
It’s a well-known fact that everyone–inside or out of the entertainment industry–needs to eat, and the thing actors love to chew on more than anything else is scenery. This film must have had a larger budget than one would think, given the fact that Forest Whitaker was eating up sets as quickly as they could be built. Nothing against Forest. He’s a talented actor, in projects like FX’s The Shield. But sometimes he needs a little direction, as in “Run away from Battlefield Earth and never look back.”
It’s difficult to know if his character’s joking with the over-the-top accents here, or if he’s appropriating the vocal patterns and/or identities of his kills. As much as I hope no one actually speaks in that faux-Scarface dialect, it may be worse if his character’s doing it for laughs.
Then there’s Bruce Willis, channeling Billy Bob Thornton’s chin hair. Is he only taking scripts from Starbucks’ employees now? There’s no pride in the phrase “in select theaters.” I could make a movie that consisted of nothing more than a 90-minute shot of a leaky faucet and get it into select theaters. Willis is a movie star. This guy made the Die Hard trilogy.*
As for Malin Akerman, I am at a loss. Not as to why she did this movie, but how she continues to work. Great actors have a certain light in their eyes that draws an audience in because there appears to be so much more happening inside their characters’ heads. The light in Akerman’s eyes should relegate her to motion-capture movies from Robert Zemeckis.
That brings us to Aaron Harvey. Who is Aaron Harvey, you might ask? Truth be told, anyone would ask, who is Aaron Harvey? He’s the writer/director of Catch .44, and he’s given auteur status in the trailer even though his only other work is a low-budget horror flick called The Evil Woods. It’s difficult to say how he brought these actors on board. A great script? A short filming window? A mound of cash? Who knows? What we do know is that the movie isn’t getting wide distribution, so its content is either questionable in quality or its ability to find a broad audience.
Make of that what you will.
*Before you start correcting me, know that I disavow both Die Hard 4 and Indiana Jones 4. I’m also getting close to denying the existence of Star Wars in its entirety.