Action Movie Fanatix Review: Catch .44

Catch 44 banner

If You Are Going Down, Take Everyone With You.

Starring: Forest Whitaker, Bruce Willis, Malin Akerman, Nikki Reed, Deborah Ann Woll, Shea Whigham, Brad Dourif, Michael Rosenbaum

Director: Aaron Harvey

2011  |  94 Minutes  |  Rated R

“Been working with you seven years… seven years.  I always liked you.  I always looked after you.  I never trusted you.” – Bruce Willis

I will pretty much pick up anything and everything with Bruce Willis on the cover.  The one thing I am noticing is that he is taking a lot of smaller parts lately the producers put him dead center on the cover and only feature him in a couple scenes.  That is pretty much the case with Catch .44.

Kara (Nikki Reed), Dawn (Debra Ann Woll) & Tes (Malin Akerman) are hit women who work for mob boss Mel (Bruce Willis).  They have been asked to kill a truck driver for a rival drug dealer at a small town truck stop diner.  Things get complicated when other Mel’s other associates Billy (Shea Whigham) and Ronny (Forest Whitaker) get involved.

Catch .44 is one of those slightly artsy movies that starts with the ending and then flashes back and forth slowly revealing the beginning and end of the story back and forth, back and forth until it all makes sense.  In between the back and forths are obligatory film reel wipes and flying text telling us who the different characters are.

So, like I said, Bruce this Billy Bob Thornton soul patched Willis really isn’t the star of this story.  I love Bruce but he is only in a few scenes.  The pecan obsessed Mel is probably one of the most unlikable Bruce Willis characters to ever hit the screen.  That really isn’t a shot at him though it’s really more of a testament to how well he gets into this character.  And Bruce is gettin’ PAID doing all these cameo movie roles.

Forest Whitaker’s Ronny is probably the most interesting, well acted character of the bunch.  He effortlessly assumes different characters and identities as the movie goes on and as he kills each of his victims.  If I were Mel I wouldn’t have even been so sure that Ronny was his real name.

The majority of the flashbacks feature the three hit girls driving, talking and arguing.  There are plenty of long, boring, mostly pointless conversations with very little purpose other than to fill time and “establish characters.”  This is the type of movie that, had Quentin Ta lmalm@c-dh.orgrantino directed it, film students and critics would go gaga over it.  But as it stands Catch .44 remains mostly unseen by most people.

Most of Catch .44’s action takes place in the flashbacks (or forwards or whatever they were at that point) that keep recapping the same short, ultra bloody gunfight.  It is well shot and interesting enough but it certainly isn’t action packed when it is only one scene replayed over and over.

My description of Catch .44 would probably lead you to believe that I absolutely hated it.  That isn’t 100% true but it really wasn’t my favorite movie.  The story could have been wrapped in about sixty minutes if it weren’t for all the flash backs, flash forwards and worthless conversations.  The story isn’t terrible aside from the dragged out feeling and the acting is very good.  I guess I am just not a fan of a 90 minute movie basically only covering one 30 minute event.

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