Directed by Pitof, starring Halle Berry, Sharon Stone, Benjamin Bratt and Lambert Wilson.

It can't have been too easy of late for DC Comics. While their two biggest heroes, Superman and Batman, have had numerous cinema outings, in the last few years DC's rivals at Marvel Comics have put those box office successes in the hapenny place.

Since 1997 Marvel has seen X-Men, Spider-Man, The Hulk and Blade make it to the big screen, while DC's scorecard reads the substandard 'Batman and Robin', the Alan Moore graphic novel 'From Hell' and plenty of talk about another 'Superman' movie and 'Watchmen'.

With 'The Fantastic Four' and 'Ghost Rider' also in the works, Marvel has plenty to smile about and when its bosses see what's happened here to DC's Catwoman, they'll be laughing over their millions.

Berry plays Patience Phillips, an aspiring graphic designer at the cosmetics empire of Laurel and George Hedare (Stone and Wilson). Dropping off designs late one night, she discovers that the Hedare's newest product is toxic and is then saved from a waste dump death by a gang of stray cats.

Waking up the next day, Phillips discovers that she got something more from the top cat than just a paw on the face: she now hates dogs, is hooked on tuna, has brilliant reflexes and can jump around her apartment. And so Catwoman is born, a creature of the night who walks the wall between good and bad with a score to settle.

Berry's decision to nosedive her talent with muck like this and the recent 'Gothika' is the career equivalent of using your Oscar as the doorstop for a toilet. Ludicrous and turgid from one set of credits to the other, 'Catwoman' is an odds-on contender for the worst film of the year.

The only way Berry would look anything other than stunning is in a suit of armour with the visor down (even then...) but, in the first of many super-sized cock-ups, director Pitof expects you to believe she's frumpy and bookish because she wears a loose blouse and baggy pants.

And it gets worse. There's a ridiculous romance with a cop (Bratt, in danger of being sprayed with Pledge); face-offs with Stone that contain no more menace than encounters with Dublin shop assistants and a plot which seems dependent on the soundtrack, instead of the other way around.

This is a deodorant ad that thought too much of itself and its only legacy will be to give the glamorous, adventurous or just plain deluded an idea for a fancy dress outfit. Whatever you do, make sure it doesn't cross your path.

Harry Guerin