Movie review: “Cat City”

Tonight we watched Cat City (2009).

Please note, this movie has nothing to do with cats, just to clear that up from the start.

Handsome Nick Compton (played by Julian Sands) is a real estate developer in Palm Springs. His pretty wife Victoria (Rebecca Pidgeon) is an attorney who specialises in family law. They live in a gorgeous house, drive snazzy cars, and seem to have it all.

But.

Predictably unfaithful Nick is having an affair with Samantha (Shawn Huff), one of the partners at Victoria’s law practice, who is conveniently also Nick’s real estate lawyer. (Oddly, she is referred to as the weirdly spelt “Allyson Greene” at the Internet Movie Data Base, so I’m not entirely sure what that’s about.)

As the plot unfolds (unravels, more like), it is revealed that Nick and Samantha have come up with a plan to make a boodle of cash by persuading a group of investors to invest millions of dollars in a casino that will ostensibly be built in the desert near Cathedral City (the Cat City of the title) in the desert, and more specifically on tribal land. So far, however, nothing has been built.

Unfortunately for them, they are double-crossed by a crooked senator Jack Sweet (William Shockley) who is anything but sweet. (But I guess it’s difficult to wail “that’s not fair”, if you haven’t exactly been honest yourself.)

When a stranger, Jonas McCaw (Alano Massi) comes to stay with Nick for a week on the recommendation of Nick’s (alarmingly disappeared) business partner, Nick and Samantha’s scheme starts unravelling even more rapidly – even more so when Jonas drops his cute boyish facade, and is revealed to be Vance Rowland, a seriously annoyed and nasty investor who wants his money back.

The only character I really liked in this movie was Brian Dennehy, who plays Harold, an ex-cop-turned-detective who helps Victoria.

The summary on the cover sounded more interesting than the movie actually was. I thought it was far too slow-moving for a thriller, which it was supposed to be (there were frequent lingering shots of wind generators turning lazily in the desert heat). The plot was predictable, even though they did try to keep us guessing until the end; the acting was disappointingly wooden; and the ending was definitely on shaky moral ground.

On a scale of 1 to 10, perhaps a 3. Not a terrible movie, but don’t expect anything earth-shattering either.

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