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Catwoman: Hunted a Sexy Sixties-Style Spy-and-Steal

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Catwoman: Hunted

The DC Animated Universe projects have been a little hit-or-miss lately, largely when they tried to stay within a cohesive universe that was almost-but-not-quite the New 52. More recently, however, they have had successes with one-off stories that focus more on the tale at hand rather than with how to make it fit into the rest of the DCAU. The 70s grindhouse style Batman: Soul of the Dragon is a good example of this.

With Catwoman: Hunted, director Shinsuke Terasawa brings together several fun, nostalgic elements, delivering an anime-aesthetic film full of 1960s spy-caper style. The result is surprisingly fresh interpretation of the characters that doesn't diminish them but rather enhances.

Elizabeth Gillies voices Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman, whom we first meet attempting to steal a large emerald out from under a criminal agency called Leviathin. Leviathin is led by Barbara Minerva (Kirby Howell-Baptiste), aka Cheetah, setting the stage for the catfight to end all catfights in the movie's climax. But there's a long way to go from heist to finish, and a lot of action and interactions to follow.

Catwoman's initial attempts at the emerald are halted by Batwoman (Stephanie Beatriz) -- and, no, there is no appearance by Batman in this story, although he is referenced. Batwoman is working with agents King Faraday (Jonathan Frakes) and Julia Pennyworth (Lauren Dohan), who need the emerald to stay right where it is for the time being for reasons of their own in order to topple Leviathin.

There's a wild car chase near the start of this film that goes a little long, and more than a little deadly for some of the pursuers. The film is rated PG-13, but isn't afraid to push some risque limits; Catwoman seduces Batwoman to the point of stammering, only to leave her cold once she gets what she wanted. And the reasons behind Catwoman's targeting Leviathin speak to a purpose more sinister than you would expect from a PG-13 story.

Villains you will see in this piece include Cheshire (yet another feline-inspired character) voiced by Kelly Hu and Nosferata, a bat-woman voiced by Zehra Fazal. Solomon Grundy is the "mini-boss" of the battle, and Steve Blum's growling baritone is almost-but-not-quite wasted as Grundy's dialogue is limited to the nursery rhyme that bears his name.

It's definitely a stylish animated film with memorable moments, capped off with an ending that promises we may revisit this particular facet of the DC Animated Universe again.

 

 

 
Grade: 
4.0 / 5.0