Kate is a professional assassin, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead (10 Cloverfield Lane, Birds Of Prey). She’s not exactly Nikita, but her latest target was a father walking with his daughter – which, to her, is rather close to the bone, but after that, she wants to retire. So, it’s the old “One last job and then I’m out!” storyline.
After training her since she was a child, her handler, Varrick (Woody Harrelson – Zombieland: Double Tap), understands her position, but she might not have a say in all this because after a night with charmer Stephen (Michiel Huisman – The Age Of Adaline), she’s suffering from extreme doses of radiation… yes, she’s been posioned, and with Polonium 204, so has just 24 hours left to live, and soon ends up with the aforementioned daughter, Ani (Miku Martineau – above right), in tow because she’ll be killed by her family if the titular heroine doesn’t help her.
As an assassin with guns – and sometimes knives – Mary Elizabeth Winstead is not exactly ‘Jane Wick’. Given that one of John Wick‘s directors, David Leitch, is an executive producer on this, it can’t be accidental. However, ‘executive producer’ is a job that can extend from anything from “doing a ton of work on the film” to simply, “having a stake in the production company”. Still, I think they are just trying to make something very similar and see if later, the two Universes can collide, since if Hollywood knows how to do one thing these days, it’s take an idea and stretch it until it snaps.
Along the way, Kate forever wants to buy a drink of Boom Boom Lemon for her final day, Woody Harrelson basically plays Woody Harrelson, and there’s a typical movie cliche of Kate running out of bullets at the same time as a baddie… who will reload their weapon first? Ooh, I wonder(!)
On the downside, while she’s very adept at leaping about – or rather her stunt double is – it would be nice if they hired someone for the role who can actually do all of that AND act. Plus, this film does nothing you haven’t seen before, and there’s also a ridiculous but predictable climax scene, which doesn’t make any sense.
This film wasn’t available for review prior to release, and I think I can see why.
As for Polonium 204, I looked it up after watching the movie – which sold it as something far stronger than Polonium 210, which killed former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko. However, while HITC makes it sound harmless in that it’s used “to remove static electricity from various types of machinery, lift dust from photographic film as an antistatic remover, and act as a lightweight heat source for thermoelectric power in space probes”, it’s not a theory I want to test.
Nor is this a film I want to watch again.
Kate is on Netflix now, but isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
Check out the trailer below:
Running time: 106 minutes
Release date: September 10th 2021
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Director: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan
Producers: Kelly McCormick, Patrick Newall, Bryan Unkeless
Screenplay: Umair Aleem
Music: Nathan Barr
Kate: Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Varrick: Woody Harrelson
Ani: Miku Martineau
Renji: Tadanobu Asano
Kijima: Jun Kunimura
Stephen: Michiel Huisman
Kanako: Mari Yamamoto
Specialist: Hirotaka Renge
Shinzo: Kazuya Tanabe
Mother: Cindy Sirinya Bishop
Teen Kate: Amelia Crouch
Child Kate: Ava Caryofyllis
Young Kate: Gemma Brooke Allen
Old Wakagashira: Hiroyuki Kobayashi
Sato: Koji Nishiyama
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.