Female assassins are all the rage these days as we see once again in Kate. From the producers of Atomic Blonde, you will see the similarities. Have you seen these type films before? Yes. Do the critics like them? No. Even though derivative, this one’s done pretty well. I liked it slightly better than Jolt. The viewer gets lots of action, a cool glow-in-the-dark-vehicle car chase, Osaka and Tokyo. Add some Polonium 204 and a good time is had by all. That is, if you can stand lots of blood and graphic violence. After all, Kate is an assassin. What else would you expect?
In Jolt, you get Stanley Tucci. Kate gives you Woody Harrelson. As “mentors” go, and I use that term very loosely, it’s about a toss-up. Both claim to have their charge’s best interest at heart. Somehow, no one seems to care much about assassins. They are just “tools” apparently, easily replaceable tools at that. In Osaka, Japan, Varrick sets up a hit but worries that if Kate misses, seven years of hard work goes down the drain. Kate reminds him that she hasn’t missed in 12 years. When a young girl appears next to the intended target, Kate asks to withdraw. She’s ordered to take the shot and the target is eliminated. The real story is about to begin. I give Kate 3.5 Gavels and it receives a 43% Rotten Tomatoes rating with a 6.4/10 IMDb score.
Ten months after Osaka, Kate still can’t shake the vision of the young girl covered in blood, crying over the body of her dead father. She wants to retire. Varrick scoffs saying “two trips to Wal-Mart and you’ll be back.” Kate agrees to one more job. The Last Dance is set for 11:00 PM at the Roppongi Tower. As she prepares to take the shot, the effect of a drug sweeps over her. She wounds the target rather than kills him. Her escape ends in a car crash and the hospital. The doctor advises her that she has accelerated acute radiation syndrome with 14-15 hours to live. Who poisoned her? If you are going to die, why not go out with a bang?
Known more for horror films, but shifting to action films (Birds of Prey), Mary Elizabeth Winstead is our wounded assassin, Kate. How does she compare to Kate Beckinsale? Again, it’s about a toss-up. The cigarette and sunglasses (see below) are a nice touch. Only a small part here as Varrick, Woody Harrelson gets a much bigger stage in the upcoming Venom movie (10/1/21). And, he gets a cool name, Carnage. The cute, sassy kid is Ani, played by Miku Martineau.
Admittedly, Kate has some plot holes. She doesn’t seem the type to dress up to seduce some dude at a bar. And, how many times have we heard the dialogue “you only love yourself?” Kate easily takes on 20 guys in a street fight but then can barely survive a one-on-one fight in a penthouse. In the end, it’s all rather far-fetched and fun.
“If you’re signing up for an assassin revenge movie with Winstead entertainingly kicking ass, you’re going to get one.” Los Angeles Times
“You’re not going to get much in the way of original plot, but what you WILL get is a grindhouse of a good time with some bleak and wickedly sharp humor, screen-popping visuals and some pretty great fight choreography.” Chicago Sun-Times
The car is shown below, but much better on-screen. But, the real question is how do you get a sequel if you poison the main character? If you care, check out hitc.com.