Catch .44 is the story of Mel (Bruce Willis - Setup
) - a crime lord in the unspecified deep south. He has sent his all-female hit squad consisting of Tes, Dawn & Kara (respectively; Malin Åkerman - Watchmen
, Deborah Ann Woll & Nikki Reed - The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn
) to a remote diner to intercept a drug-deal.
But when Mel's right hand guy - the chameleonic Ronny (Forest Whitaker - Panic Room
) shows up and walks right into the ensuing Mexican standoff between the girls & Mel's man on the ground, Billy (Shea Whigham - The Lincoln Lawyer
) nobody is quite sure who is double-crossing who, only one thing is clear; Mel is NOT going to be happy when he shows up...
Catch .44 is an odd film, mainly because we see the end at the beginning. We are thrown in at the deep end, understanding nothing of how the characters came to be in this predicament, as the flashbacks roll, they all bring us back to this scene and we see the same scenario from a multitude of camera angles again & again, adding something each time around. It's an intriguing technique that allows us to see the genesis of each of the characters reasons for being there. Upsettingly, Mel's opening line reveals who the bad guy is in all this, removing some of the tension but this is only crystal-clear in retrospect and is probably easily missed.
Nonetheless, Bruce Willis plays a fantastic aging-alcoholic-mobster and is truly chilling in his rendition of the eerily-calm Mel. The true star of the show here is Whitaker, who plays a man with multiple guises and is a terrifying psycho in his adoration for Tes (Åkerman). Everyone plays their role well with each scene being truly unpredictable - very refreshing. The direction is snappy (credit to Aaron Harvey) with multiple plays of the same scenes from different angles not being an easy beast to master. There are also some pretty nasty wounds inflicted and the CGI holds up well here for this medium-low budget production. The southern country soundtrack is also memorable, with some darker modern-folk being included. All in all, this is a truly different film to the usual fare with great performances from Whitaker & Willis, ably supported by the strong cast and unusual direction. Recommended!