Writer/director Aaron Harvey really wants to be Quentin Tarantino, and I mean REALLY wants to be. While many people have made films that can be considered Tarantino-esque, Catch .44 takes that to the extreme but falls short on just about every level. Despite trying everything from fast-paced dialogue that seems to be about random topics to dicking around with the timeline, all the film really manages to prove is that Quentin is a singular talent, and you can’t just copy and paste his style in a slightly amateurish way and expect it to work.
Three young women (Malin Akerman, Nikki Reed and Deborah Ann Woll) are in a cafe in rural Louisiana when one of them appears to start a stick-up, which soon goes horribly wrong. The film then jump around the timeline, gradually revealing how we got to the café and what happens after, which involves a sleazy drug kingpin (Bruce Willis), a brutal killer (Forest Whitaker) and a job to intercept a lucrative dope deal. However nothing is quite what it seems.
Despite a cast that on paper looks like it should be good and a plot that has potential, very little about Catch .44 works, with lacklustre performances and a story that meanders even at only 90 minutes. The movie tries to cover this up with an overabundance of flashy style, but Aaron Harvey simply doesn’t have the filmmaking panache to pull it off, so that the non-linear time jumps and other quirks merely become tedious attempts to cover up the fact there’s very little of interest here.
The result is a movie that feels a bit like a film school homage to Tarantino by someone who doesn’t really understand what made the likes of Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs work (which isn’t the flashy, in-your-face things Catch .44 seems to think it is).
Overall Verdict: From the title downwards, this attempt at a Tarantino-esque crime thriller falls completely flat and quickly starts to be boring, no matter how much style it tries to throw at the screen.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac