March 28, 2017

Home, Review Leave a Comment

Catfight is a real dog.


Phil Taffs
Year: 2017
Rating: M
Director: Onar Tukel

Sandra Oh, Anne Heche, Alicia Silverstone

Distributor: Sc Movies
Released: Out now.
Running Time: 95 minutes
Worth: 50c

FilmInk rates movies out of $20 — the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

Catfight is a real dog.


Sometimes even reviewers struggle to know how to best begin describing a new film. But in the first ten minutes of Onur Tukel’s revenge “comedy” Catfight, quite a few words spring effortlessly to mind:


– and/but worst of all for a comedy:

Not funny.

Because the ten-minute mark is also instructive when you add up how many laughs have been generated in the opening scenes of Catfight – and the total comes to a thudding fat zero.

Unfortunately, things don’t improve. Even if you allow that the film is not so much a comedy as a mordant satire about a self-serving America set in the very near future (another Middle East war takes place, largely off camera), for satire to work it needs to have some intelligence and spirit. In Catfight’s case, whatever caustic subtext was intended is obliterated by yawn-lazy writing and godawful characters doing appalling things to each other, over and over again.

Dipsomaniac, rich and spoiled, Veronica (Sandra Oh), lives in upmarket Soho with her war-racketeering husband, Stanley (Damian Young) and their strangely (given his toxic parents) soulful and creatively talented teenage son, Amid (Justin Ahdoot). Veronica’s former college friend-cum-nemesis, Ashley (Anne Heche) is a struggling artist in a lesbian relationship with Lisa (a weirdly cast Alicia Silverstone).

After bumping into each other at a party to celebrate Stanley winning a big defence contract, Veronica and Lisa – working as a lowly caterer at the event – reignite their college hatred and suddenly start brawling in the stairwell with a ferocity that leaves one of the women in a coma for two years.

This is the first of four brutal encounters that extend across several two-year intervals as the women continue to clash at different points of their lives and their luck. The structure of Catfight is basically Rich Girl, Poor Girl with the plot propelled forward via a series of reversals of fortune, where one of the feuding females gains supremacy for a short time only to have the situation switcherooed down the track.

The violence the women mete out to each other is gratuitous and gory. And it’s not just physical violence: one of the women taunts the other about losing a baby. If the film is aiming to make a bold, futuristic feminist statement, it is confusingly anti-women.

Veronica’s husband actually wins the war contract for “debris disposal”.

That’s exactly what this film needs.

Catfight is a real dog.


Leave a Comment