Dir, Aaron Harvey, USA, 2001, 90 Minutes
Reviewed by Matt Duddy
Catch .44 opens in a redneck diner in Louisiana, it’s the early hours of the morning and three young women are discussing how certain situations need an element of compromise. Suddenly the three girls jump up, pull out guns and demand to know the whereabouts of a truck full of drugs.
It turns out that the three sassy girls (Akerman , Reed & Woll) all work for a drug kingpin named Mel (Bruce Willis) who has despatched the girls to the diner to intercept a truck full of drugs that is due to go through his territory without paying him a kickback. The girls recently botched a job and are keen to make it up to Mel and restore his faith in them as well as getting compensated highly for their services.
The narrative then veers off sharply to a scene where Ronny, (Forest Whitaker) pretending to have a flat tyre on his car, kills a local sheriff who stops to help. This story then intertwines with the girls as Ronny, now dressed as the sheriff, pulls the girls over en route to the diner. An awkward exchange occurs as Ronny makes suggestive remarks to the girls before letting them continue on their way.
The film then shifts back to the diner where a shoot out has started between the girls and the patrons of the diner, all is not what it seems as double crosses are revealed and Ronny and Mel enter the diner.
The ensemble cast would be the first thing that attracted the viewer to this film, however the inclusion of both Whitaker and particularly Willis in this film serves only to show that their careers have started to dip before Willis’ big budget starring roles start to re-emerge over the next twelve months. Director Aaron Harvey revels in the inclusion of Willis so much that there is even a nauseating scene where the girls get excited about listening to Bruce Willis’ Return of Bruno album. As for the rest of the cast, Akerman stands out for the girls but the film is stolen by cameos from Shea Whigham and genre favourite Brad Dourif.
Catch .44 is a supposed homage to the ultra cool films that Tarantino made in the 90’s, instead it ends up aping scenes from Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Killing Zoe and Death Proof with little in-between to link them.