One of the major devices in action films is pitching two characters head-to-head. Man to Man. Mono e mono. Whether it’s Face/Off, Terminator 2, Universal Soldier, Batman vs Superman or Tom and Jerry, there’s something which captures the human imagination in a battle between two combatants for dominance. It has been an almost entirely macho domain. However, that’s set to change with the release of Onur Tukel’s Catfight.

Veronica Salt (Sandra Oh) is a trophy wife with a drink problem, a rich unhappy husband and an idealistic son (Giullian Yao Gioiello). Ashley Miller (Anne Heche) is a struggling artist, who along with her partner Lisa (Alicia Silverstone), are finding it difficult to make ends meet. The former college friends meet by chance at a fancy cocktail party. Old enmity comes to the fore as the pair take out their frustrations on each other.

Catfight is an incredibly strange film. It’s small and it’s nasty, but you find yourself compelled to keep watching. The action is set against the backdrop of war, and there’s some none-too-subtle commentary on the current political climate. There’s lots of familiar faces from TV in cameo roles, surprisingly well choreographed fight scenes, astute use of music and two leads really give it everything. Catfight is a film that’s worth your time but one which probably won’t stay with you.

Catfight is in cinemas and on VoD from Friday.