[dropcap style="font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;"] C [/dropcap] atch .44 is a little known star-studded shoot-out that tries very hard to emulate a mixture of Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs with a portion of Memento and never quite makes it all work. No one I know has heard of this movie despite the star billing of Bruce Willis, Forrest Whittaker and Malin Akerman. This takes place in No Country For Old Men territory and it’s all about a gang of three women who do jobs for Mel, the local crime lord played by Willis. Mel should have been played by Mickey Rourke since it would have required no make-up or wardrobe. Mel is Rourke. And the three women, led by Akerman, are Charlie’s Angels with edge.
Forrest Whittaker is really the male lead here (Ronny), playing the main man that serves Mel. We meet him putting a Malin-abusing hard-ass in his place at a cheesy strip club (owned by Mel). Ronny spends the movie killing his way to a midnight cafe meet that is set up for confusing and unknown reasons. It seems to be a job set up by Mel, but with each player getting a different playbook.
While Ronny is doing his thing, Aaron Harvey, the rookie director is busy trying to find a fancy way to tell us the story of the midnight cafe meet in sequential reverse direction. Why? I guess as MGM likes to say…. Ars Gratia Artis. But as far as telling a story, I prefer real time. Catch .44 is all about the Mexican stand-off at the midnight cafe and figuring out who is both supposed to do what to whom and who will survive to do it all another day.
I’ve lived a Mexican standoff in several lives. Repo counter parties looking for margin cash. First and second lien holders squaring off against mezzanine debt holders. Sovereign debt holders and the IMF against the 99%. It is never fun, always confusing and usually ends badly for 2/3 of the players. Catch .44 is just that…..twice as bad as catch 22…..basically, you cannot win if you play. Just like in War Games, the only way to win is to not play.