Verdict: 2.5 / 5
Starting in Montenegro, this action-comedy caper bounds back and forth from its opening location to Andorra, Luxembourg, Sofia, Lyon, Ferrara, Chelmsford and New York City. The story is a stretch, the plot over the top and the violence surprisingly gratuitous for what is otherwise a fun and light-hearted film.
Anthony and Julian are childhood friends pursuing dreams and desires in exotic Eastern Europe. With Julian’s daring and Anthony’s trust fund they decide to set up a private detective agency and their first case is that of a missing prostitute, Catalina (the Cat of the title), and the dark secret she carries with her about several high-end, international politicians – nothing original or believable then, just a fairly standard set-up in order to enable the action. Its fast pace and cute gimmicks keep you entertained, as the film relentlessly cuts from scene to scene pursuing its characters and legends splashed across the screen introduce Anthony, Julian and others such as the client, the assassin and the replacement killer.
The banter between the leads, the location-hopping and the cheesy dialogue (with occasional good-one liners) make for a fun and frivolous adventure, so that the sodomy parties and gory torture scenes are somewhat out of synch with the overall tone of the film. Of course, the characters are none too original what with the wisecracking black guy and his best friend the pretty white boy who finds love with the girl he saves. Janet McTeer’s assassin is quite quirky with her penchant for adopting the names of classic English writers as pseudonyms and carrying a fine china cup and saucer in her suitcase. Although she does a fair job of it, she could have pushed the prim and proper Brit part a bit further in order to make her assassin even more unlikely. The dynamic duo of Anthony and Julian, with the film’s glitzy climax and fairytale ending hint at its attempt to be a Rush Hour or a Beverly Hills Cop and although not in the same league, it’s a worthwhile effort.