An action film is characterized by a plot that portrays the protagonists (good guys/heroes) against the antagonists (villains) and the dispute between good and evil is resolved on the basis of hitting, shooting and bombing, in addition to physical strength, of course . The genre is popular and gained more prominence after franchises like The Bourne Identity, John wick and even Rescue. But what do these productions have in common? All are carried out by men. Many people turned up their noses at a recent release of Netflix, “Kate“where a poisoned assassin has 24 hours to get revenge on the person responsible, before she dies. It may not be the best production of action starring a woman - in the opinion of some -, but it is certainly addictive, overwhelming and with a strong badass protagonist and that deserves a special place in your heart.
Back in the 2000s, actresses like Uma Thurman, Milla Jovovich and Angelina Jolie they took on roles quite different from what the movie industry was used to seeing, they were no longer helpless girls and in the relentless pursuit of Prince Charming. They took on the challenge of taking on anti-heroines and starred in successful franchises like Kill Bill, resident Evil and Lara Croft opening a long way for other talented actresses like Scarlett Johansson, Margot Robbie, Charlize Theron and among many others shine in the genre. Thanks to these actresses who invested in the action, we have “Kate", which brings the actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead which is already known for very interesting works like Scott Pilgrim and Birds of prey and comes in a badass vibe to command the pace of a violent and very electrifying narrative.
The plot follows the assassin Kate, who after being orphaned and taken in by Varrick, played by Woody Harrelson, who trained her to be a killing machine, the girl becomes exempt from any feeling and emotions until a service does not go as planned and the outcome traumatizes her and now, she decides that she wants to retire and have a family, a life normal. So Varrick gives him what was supposed to be his last job and after a night out with a guy named Stephen, he plays Michael Huisman, the super assassin misses the shot and discovers she was poisoned with Polonium-204.
With only 24 hours to live, the assassin sets out to seek revenge, showing several gangsters until during the process she ends up meeting teenager Ani, the actress Miku Patricia Martineau, Kijima's niece who can take her to him and then Kate decides to kidnap her, but as expected, the girl is not so relevant to her family who want her dead, however, Kate saves her and the two leave in the hope to find Kijima. In fact, Ani is the daughter of one of his victims from the past and with whom he creates an unexpected bond of friendship.
The feature is produced by a well-known name, David Leitch, stunt coordinator before directing box office hits like “Deadpool 2" and "Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw“, the production draws from many references which means that in addition to having inherited the positive and negative points. In addition to the performance of the actress who is not at all nice, but exudes austerity and strength, the plot stands out for being a well-developed entertainment, directed in an electrifying manner by Cedric Nicolas-Troyan and features well-choreographed action scenes, lots of blood and neon lights that make Tokyo the perfect setting for Kate's rampant killing.
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The feature fails to follow what other productions have done within the genre. The script here is not original and here the character, a one-woman army, has only one day to solve their problems and with their incredible skills is able to destroy in the most literal sense of the word an army of well-armed men until the end. your last breath. Another thing here that doesn't work very well is the figure of the mentor, who spent most of his life training her to kill, whose preparation goes beyond the practice of torture. In addition, emotional issues arise to unravel the protagonist and the fact of her near immortality - she takes so much shot, that she can still kick, walk and shoot madly as if nothing had happened... bizarre -, it's something uncreative and in a way, it could have had another outcome. Of course, all of this, mentioned above, shows promise if done correctly, but it results in a production without its own personality that hooks the spectator, but hardly leaves any room to be remembered, which is a shame, as the film has potential.
the role of Woody Harrelson it's kind of invisible here, because he doesn't show up much and goes on autopilot with a limited roleplaying and your character is just another one that falls into the same ditch that other characters with similar plots have already fallen. However, the actress miku is charismatic and manages to have fun on stage, making the viewer laugh more than they should. Here, in a forced relationship with his family's murderer, Kate, he manages to provoke some existing feeling in the protagonist. Here the drama has no place, except for the moments that resort to the past to justify the current situation of the characters and the shallow introduction of a subject that is commonly highlighted in the press, of course, disguised by other names such as the intrusion of Western agents into culture from other countries, in the case of the feature film, Japanese culture and at the end of the narrative we realize that what the film really wants is to show that the greed that consumes one of the family members of Kijima and Varrick is a particularly Western disease, an imperialism that is dangerous for everyone and must be stopped.
In technical terms, the production surprises as in the car chase scene through the streets of Tokyo, created with a strange CGI that resembles a video game (Need For Speed, for example). The soundtrack filled with energetic hits from j-pop and j-rock is really cool and gives a more fun tone to the gory plot. The well-done makeup and costume work portraying the rapidly and gradually deteriorating condition of the anti-heroin Kate during the film, expanded by Winstead's self-conscious and balanced portrayal. Other little jokes we see in the montage, signed by Sandra Montiel and Elisabet Ronaldsdóttir, give balance and grace to literally brutal action scenes. Here the fun and the carnage is unleashed.