Kate is the new Netflix original film directed by Cedric Nicholas-Troyan(The Huntsman:Winter's War) Starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Woody Harrelson and Introducing Miku Martineau in her first film role.
Kate is the story of a female assassin(Winstead) who has only 24 hours to live and will use every minute she has left to get vengeance against the ones who are responsible for poisoning her.
Director Cedric Nicholas-Troyan does a great job of creating a lived in almost video game like world which is set in Tokyo which adds too the film's appeal and ominous about it. There is a scene in the film with a bright car that I still can't tell if it was CGI or just a cool practical effect, Nicholas-Troyan does an excellent job with the visuals as well as his style of directing action...which we get plenty of in this movie.
The story might feel familiar for anyone who has seen other films like DOA, LA Femme Nikita/Point of No Return and and even the Jason Statham super changed Crank films. What separate's Kate from the other's is that Kate never had a chance of being anything but a killer, similar to Marvel's Black Widow Kate was trained as a young girl by her handler Varrick “V” (Woody Harrelson) who are very close they have almost an father/daughter relationship and feel like a family. Family being one of the running themes of the film. Doesn't always have to been blood to make up your family as we see represented a few times in this film and actual blood family can be your enemy.
Kate is about to do one final job and than she is done with the assassin life, but while she's about too take out the target she realizes that something isn't right with her and doesn't complete the mission because she has fallen ill and finds herself at the hospital where she is told that she has been poisoned and only has 24 hrs left too live, now with her life turned upside we witness a race against time with Kate searching for answers.
I was really impressed with the film overall as it seems familiar but new and fresh at the same time, Mary Elizabeth Winstead is really coming into her own as a action star with previous turn as Huntress in Birds of Prey and now Kate. Winstead brings a grounded balance to this character as she is a tough badass who kicks a lot...and I do mean a lot of ass in this film but it's the calm character moments
Where Winstead truly shines as Kate has to deal with the fact she won't get too ride off into the sunset and live that peaceful life she always wanted, and the moments she has with young Ani played by new comer Miku Martineau is truly the heart of the film, watching how both characters deal with their trauma and connect with the fact that both are the same in many ways adds another layer too the film.
Woody Harrelson is always a joy to watch in a film doesn't matter if he is a good or bad guy if you see him in a film he's going to bring his A game, the character of Varrick is a very multi layered character I wanted to see more scenes between Varrick and Kate because what we do get of the two together it's clear that they have been through a lot together and the fact that he has been her handler since she was a young child and through flashbacks we get the sense of what their relationship is and how it's gotten too the point in current day.
The story is very straight forward for the most part but if there was one negative about the film is there seems to be something missing regarding a specific character's motives late in the film and could leave the viewer scratching their heads on that front.
The action is the meat of the movie as we see Kate dish out brutal punishment too the bad guy's, I would say if you are a fan of the John Wick series and The Raid films than you will definitely enjoy the action here. One of the first fight scenes we get Kate killing a guy with a knife where she stabs him at least 3 times in the neck before shooting him in the head.
It doesn't hurt that this was produced by the same people who brought us Atomic Blonde so they know how to make a woman look badass and Mary Elizabeth Winstead looks every bit the part and than some. I'm not sure how much of the stunts and fights she actually did herself but I want to believe she did a lot of it.
New comer Miku Martineau does a excellent job here as young Ani, who finds herself caught up in the middle of this violent chess game that revolves around her family. I really enjoyed the scenes with her and Mary Elizabeth and how they play off of each other's emotions and she steals a few scenes near the end of the film. I'm looking forward to see what she does next.
This movie is violence and doesn't hold back at all, when dealing with assassins and crime underworld it shouldn't be anything less, despite the violence this movie has a heart, charm, and sadness about it that some how works thanks to the all the moving pieces of this movie. Even though I enjoy this movie some of the 3rd act does become a problem mainly because of SPOILER WARNING......Woody Harrelson's villain turn and his motives doesn't really makes sense as to why he turns against Kate to become a high member of the Yakuza.
With the few flaws this movie have it's still an enjoyable film with a badass main character who is doomed from the beginning and unfortunately doesn't make it in the end. So I doubt we'll be getting a Kate 2.
If you haven't checked Kate out yet, do so it's on Netflix and speaking of Netflix, here lately they have been releasing a lot of female led action films like this, GunPowder Milkshake, The Old Guard just to name a few so thanks for that Netflix hopefully this isn't just a trend because I've been enjoying these films.