Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays an assassin with just one day left to live, hunting down her poisoner in the action-thriller “Kate”.
* Movie content spoiler
Kate (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) was trained to be an assassin from a young age, having never missed a target for 12 years. The only rule she sets is not to kill people if there are children. On a mission in Osaka, Kate breaks the law by assassinating Ani’s father (Miku Martineau) in front of her. However, Ani’s uncle Kijima (Jun Kunimura) – the boss of the yakuza (Japanese mafia) – escaped. Ten months later, someone poisoned Kate in Tokyo leaving her with just one day to live. Believing that the incident is related to Ani’s family, Kate is determined to track down Kijima for revenge.
Directed by Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, written by Umair Aleem. Set in Japan, the characters speak both English and Japanese. Simple content, revolving around Kate’s revenge journey. The script still follows the classic three-act structure. The first half hour development was a bit slow because the director focused on telling the story. When Kate discovers that she only has 24 hours to live, the pace of the film accelerates with many violent murder scenes at R (restricted to audiences under 17 years old).
Kate is built as a mystery. The writer did not explain why she embarked on the path of crime, whose family consists of, living or dead. The character’s past is only revealed by a few short flashbacks, quickly passing, without affecting the film’s content. Viewers have to explain for themselves Kate’s psychology, why she softened before Ani leading to failure.
The highlight of the movie is the action part. Real battle scenes are staged to create a quick, concise feeling John Wick (2017) or Atomic Blonde (2017). Kate uses a pistol as her main weapon, but is also capable of punching and slashing as well as her opponent. When attacking, she is uncompromising, determined to pursue her target to the end. The most impressive scene is the fight scene between Kate and the yakuza gang in a Japanese restaurant. She surprises by finishing off each criminal instantly, with a single shot or stab wound.
Above Slash Film, director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan said the work was inspired by Japanese anime (animated) and gangster films such as Tokyo Drifter (1966), Hana-bi (1997). He identifies himself as a fan of Takeshi Kitano, a director known for his violent works. Nicolas-Troyan wanted the film to be entertaining, so he increased the drama in some scenes.
The Japanese atmosphere is expressed through both visuals and music. The filming crew was in Japan, Thailand and the US. Japan is recreated through many frames: billboards light up Tokyo, neon lights engulf the alley, posters plaster the walls. Teenagers dressed in cosplay, lined up to enter the nightclub to listen to the female rock group BAND-MAID perform. The production team also incorporated Japanese cultural elements through some small details, such as the fact that Kate wore Onitsuka Tiger shoes or drank Boom Boom Lemon beverage – a creation based on the real CC Lemon brand.
Behind the shoulder The Huntress of Birds of Prey (2020), Mary Elizabeth Winstead continues to surprise with a different shape. Incarnation of Kate, she performed most of the action scenes herself without a stunt, showing the image of a “female beater” who is good at fighting and acrobatics. Above CHEAP, she said the role is demanding, but not the most difficult. Her acting skills developed over time, making it easier to take on the role of Kate.
The Japanese cast also fulfills the role. For the first time acting in a movie, Miku Martineau left an impression with her natural acting when transforming Ani. Above Screen Rant, the actress said the character “happy, bold, rebellious” is completely different from her, so it is very interesting to be incarnated. Singer and actress Miyavi appeared with a tattooed body, depicting the madness and cruelty of the criminal in the underworld. Veteran actor Jun Kunimura plays a simple role, with little acting space, appearing as a guest.
The work is rated 5.1/10 points above Rotten Tomatoes, 46/100 points on Metacritic. Sheet Los Angeles Times The film has its own charm with some unexpected moments, complimenting the director, cinematography and production design. Author Leah Greenblatt of EW grade B, compared with works of the same genre such as Kill Bill (2003), La Femme Nikita (1990), The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996) and Lucy (2014). Wes Greene’s pen Slant Magazine score 1.5/4, criticize the script, evaluate the movie according to the familiar formula.
On IMDb, Kate score 6.4/10. The majority of viewers considered the mediocre plot, Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s acting and action as reasons to watch the movie.