Kate, review of the Netflix film with Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Kate, review of the Netflix film with Mary Elizabeth Winstead


The very first thing that comes to mind when watching Kate, the new Netflix exclusive movie, available on the streaming platform starting September 10, is that you are faced with a story that, for better or for worse, recalls one of the absolute masterpieces. by Quentin Tarantino, aka Kill Bill. Can you not look bad in comparison? Let's calmly see how this production, directed by Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, confronts its illustrious “competition”.

A tale of revenge

The film tells, in a rather hasty and adrenaline-fueled way, the vicissitudes of Kate, in fact, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, a highly trained professional killer, part of an unspecified Western (government?) agency, but operating on a permanent basis in Japan and, precisely for this reason, very often in conflict with the various zaibatsu of the Yakuza, the very famous Japanese organized crime.

During a mission "to eliminate sensitive targets" in Osaka, Kate is disgusted by what she is doing, given that she is forced to eliminate her intended victim in front of the latter's teenage daughter. This touches the conscience of her killer so much that it leads her to make the decision to definitively get out of her circle. Ten months after her, Varrick, Kate's immediate superior (Woody Harrelson), contacts her for one last mission in Tokyo. During the undertaking, the protagonist realizes that her body is beginning to show worrying signs of subsidence, and then she discovers that she has been poisoned with Polonium 204. Aware that she is only 24 hours old now, Kate embarks on a personal revenge aided, despite her, by Ani (Miku Martineau), the girl whose father she murdered months earlier in Osaka.

Given the plot, definitely not original, focused on revenge carried out at a fast pace, by a killer woman with a dark past, the comparison with Kill Bill (of which you can find the full version at this link) is , as we have already mentioned at the beginning, inevitable. Even the Japanese setting and, in a certain sense, the soundtrack, often refer the mind to Tarantino's films. The main characters, namely Kate and Ani, are well conceived and well interpreted, resulting extremely enjoyable despite being rather stereotyped, and therefore not exactly memorable.

Let's be clear, Kate is a very fun and smooth product, but it shouldn't be beyond mere one-shot entertainment. Hardly, after seeing it, you will have a chance to rewatch this film, even after some time. As much as the flow of events manages to keep us glued to the screen until the credits, there will never be truly epic moments. The complementary characters, especially as regards the countless yakuza that Kate will meet on her journey, do not even stand out in terms of originality, not even the most prominent ones, which would have been possible by simply adopting a couple of tricks on the characterization. In any case, they do their duty without any problems whatsoever, we repeat ourselves, without anything absolutely memorable.

Murderers in time to music

What instead emerges in Kate without problems above average, are the fight scenes and the way they are presented. The choreographies of the clashes really work perfectly, placing themselves at a sort of halfway between the exaggerated fights at the limit of the laws of physics, typical of certain cinematic entertainment dedicated to martial arts, and the precise representation of various fights and stabbings. To understand it better, realism is not the main feature of the fight scenes that see the protagonist and those around her engaged, but don't expect prodigious leaps or superhuman secret techniques either. The right mix of both visions.

The soundtrack is also excellent, rightly trash but without absolutely overdoing it. The pieces that are the background to the events of the film, contribute not a little to emphasize the numerous contrasts of the setting and the way of telling it, especially as regards the aforementioned fighting scenes.

Also as regards the choice of music, the comparison with Kill Bill is inevitable. The massive use of Japanese pop songs can only make the mind of the famous Woo Hoo from The run, so alien to what was happening on screen, yet so fitting. We find the exact same thing, and not only once, also in Kate.


So, if you want to sum up, what can we say about this Netflix original production? The film, although it cannot be considered absolutely a masterpiece, is on balance extremely enjoyable. Ideal for an undemanding evening, without great demands, but which certainly does not leave lovers of the pure Action genre disappointed. Although she is light years away from the Tarantine productions that surely inspire her, Kate does her duty without batting an eye, as long as you don't notice the almost total lack of originality.

Ultimately, a more than good product, without triumphal ambitions (but which he does not even seem to want to have) but without dead moments. You look smoothly from start to finish, you appreciate the rhythm and the countless citations and references, voluntary or not, and stop. Ultimately, an ideal film for an evening dedicated to action cinema without too many pretensions.

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