When I first heard that dear Anne Hathaway was chosen to portray the latest incarnation of the evil, maniacal femme fatale known as Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises, I was skeptical. No doubt the young actress has the acting chops, but the edge? I mean, dark, jagged cat-claw edges. To look at her in most of her movies, I could pop her onto my shoulder with one hand. Not that the latex body suit doesn’t hug her slender curves just like a feline – but holding her own in a roustabout?
Then I remembered. Anne is a consummate professional who wouldn’t take on the iconic role opposite Christian Bale’s Batman in his big-screen swan song from the role that made him insanely rich and famous – unless she and director Christopher Nolan thought she could pull it off. Just how she’s going to pull it off is exactly why I’m going to be lining up with the rest of the country on Friday, June 20th to find out. But the larger question is whether she will be able to hold her own against Catwomen of the past. Will time be kind to dear Anne, who most of us can still remember first meeting in The Princess Diaries, I and II?
For me, I’m going to reserve judgment until after I see what Anne’s slinking, kicking and clawing do for me at the multiplex. I must admit, however, that Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman in Batman Returns (1992) is going to be a really tough act to follow. Michelle’s slinking, kicking and clawing was the best I’d ever seen. 100% pure hellcat encased in a shiny black, figure-snugging catsuit no less. And Michelle had the sexy pedigree of a superstar to play against type, too. Anne on the other hand has a squeaky-clean persona to play off of. Again, not to say she can’t do it – but put the two catwomen in a room together for half an hour and I’m pretty sure who’s going to be the only one walking out.
And I don’t mean Halle Berry.