With Cat Run director John Stockwell and screenwriters Nick Ball and John Niven deliver a derivative action flick that wants so hard to be cool it’s almost embarrassing. Mixing a healthy dose of nudity with brutal stylized violence (including torture scenes with a cigar cutter and dental drill), a plot that doesn’t make all that much sense, and intentionally bizarre characters (such as D.L. Hughley as a one-armed, no legged, office worker) Cat Run is one mess of a film.
Our story takes place in Eastern Europe where genius introvert (Scott Mechlowicz) turned failed chef and his childhood best friend (Alphonso McAuley) decide (for no apparent reason) to start a low rent detective agency above a porno theater in Montenegro. Their first client is a prostitute named Cat (Paz Vega) who stole their car and phone and is the sole remaining witness to a series of brutal murders. Well, client is a rather strong word as no one actually hired these likable but ridiculous pair to find anyone.
Cat is on the run from the mobster (Karel Roden) at whose party the massacre took place, and whose hard drive she stole as leverage to help keep her alive. On her heels is a prim, proper, and brutal assassin (Janet McTeer) who will stop at nothing (including threatening the life of Cat’s baby son) to fulfill her contract. Other aspects of the plot involve a pervert of a U.S. Senator (Christopher McDonald) whose handlers have no trouble protecting with multiple instances of mass murder, a second assassin (Tony Curran), double-crosses, and more than one less than believable plot twist.
Vega and Mechlowicz are likable enough leads, but the story which surrounds them, shot in grim but flashy quick-cuts, doesn’t meet even the lowest of expectations. There’s no consistent tone as the grim aspects of the film don’t mesh with the corny leading men or the love story between Cat and Anthony, which happens, as does everything which transpires on-screen, in the absence of any logic and only because it was written into the script.
Available in both single-disc DVD and Blu-ray, the extras include deleted scenes, a short behind-the-scenes featurette on the making of the film, and commentary by director John Stockwell and producer Bill Perkins.
[Universal Studios, DVD $19.98 / Blu-ray $26.98]