HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Nikita The Lady With The Gun
Year: 1990
Director: Luc Besson
Stars: Anne Parillaud, Jean-Hugues Anglade, Tchéky Karyo, Jeanne Moreau, Jean-Luc Caron, Rénos Mandis, Jean-Marc Merchet, Philippe Leroy, Jean Reno, Jean Bouise, Marc Duret, Patrick Fontana, Alain Lathière, Jacques Boudet, Roland Blanche, Jean Bedin
Genre: Thriller, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 3 votes)
Review: A group of junkies have showed up at the chemist shop of the father of one of their number with a plan to break in and steal as many drugs as they possibly can. The son has the keys, but spends so much time trying to locate the right one that the lunkhead wielding the axe smashes the lock with it, oblivious to protests. No matter, as they are now inside, but the chemist has been alerted by the noise and calls the police, then grabs his shotgun and ventures downstairs to confront them. It does not end well when the cops arrive and start shooting down the criminals, but one survives: Nikita (Anne Parillaud)...

Between them, it sometimes seems as if John Woo and Luc Besson created the whole look of nineties action thrillers with their ultra-sylish imagery, designer violence and a finely honed sense of what will get the audience's pulse pounding for those setpiece highlights. Both had been making movies in the eighties, of course, and in Besson's case he embraced the whole "cinema du look" fashion of French cinema, a cool and at times very elegant movement that really only made its international impact with a handful of films, preferably those which could be summed up by a glossy poster to be hung on the walls of the hip and happening.

Indeed, Nikita's poster, with Parillaud in her little black dress grasping a large pistol and taking cover from gunshots emblazoned across it, became as much of an icon as the poster for Betty Blue, but there was a sense among some observers that there was not a lot more to the film than creating a selection of memorable stills with no substance to back them up. It's true that at first glance Nikita appears shallow, but whether you buy into it or not the plot is actually melodramatic enough to be potentially affecting. The point is that the consequences of all those people who die in the film are not legal, but emotional.

So when the heroine shoots a policeman in the chemist's during the gripping opening sequence, it looks as if she will be placed in prison for a very long time, and at this stage she is far from sympathetic, with Parillaud bravely going all out to make us believe there's little hope for redeeming her character. However, the authorities, that kind of top secret authorities who have everyone under surveillance and have wide-ranging powers to do pretty much whatever they want, think differently and note the potential in someone who has already murdered and might be persuaded to do it again. Well, not so much persuaded as ordered.

Nikita's new boss is Bob (Tchécky Karyo) who teaches her to do things his way or else as he whips her into shape, even putting a bullet into her leg when she tries to escape the complex she is being held in. On recovering and learning various skills, including how to scrub up well thanks to Jeanne Moreau's makeup tips, Nikita is ready for her first mission which is sprung on her in the best action of the film: seeing her make her exit after assassinating a V.I.P. sets one up to believe that we are in for a rollercoaster ride. Yet actually nothing that follows matches it, so she undergoes a romance that contrasts with the coldblooded killing she has to carry out, which is nice enough, and Besson knew his way around pleasing the eye with a well-crafted shot, but it means the film is pulling in two directions. He would balance these sides far better in Leon, but Nikita remains worthwhile for its chic. Music by Eric Serra.

[Optimum have released a collection of Besson's films in the Blu-ray format, Nikita being one of them, packed with featurettes and the trailers.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 6168 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: