Streaming on Netflix from today is the action-adventure movie, Kate. The film – directed by Cedric Nicolas-Troyan – stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Woody Harrelson, and Miku Patricia Martineau, and centres on a female assassin who has 24 hours to exact vengeance on the person responsible for her murder.
In the film, Kate is an expert assassin, at the height of her career. However, despite being the best-of-the-best, she botches an assignment in Tokyo.
But this is not the worst of Kate’s problems, as she soon discovers she has been poisoned and has just 24 hours left to live. Utilising what little time she has, Kate sets out to track down her killer, with some assistance from a new friend – a teenage girl called Ani.
The first thing to say about Kate is, boy, this is a good-looking movie. The colour palette, the backgrounds, the lighting – it all looks fantastic.
Heck, there is a moment, roughly 25-minutes into the movie, where blood starts splattering in a fight scene between Kate and some Yakuza goons, and it is so damn beautiful that I instantly fell in love. This whole scene looked like something out of a graphic novel and I found myself noticing all the detail that was being put on screen.
The second thing to note about this film is just how great Mary Elizabeth Winstead is, as she is no less than perfect as the titular character. You want an actor who can take charge, trade punches, pull triggers, and kick THE MOST amount of ass imaginable? You got it!
Winstead is always a name worth investing your time in (The Thing, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, etc), and once again she proves that she has the ability to command the screen. From the get-go, she takes charge and makes it clear this is her movie, and regardless of what the film serves up, she will be the best part of it. And she is.
Winstead is without doubt the star of the movie. I can only imagine that when she was handed the script, she took one look, knew exactly how she was going to play the part of Kate, and said “count me in”.
I expect she then worked with everyone from the director and the costume department to build the character, resulting in a hard-edged assassin, who looks a little like a pissed-off Ellen Ripley. And who wouldn’t want to see that?!
As for what the rest of the film offers, Kate is a high-action picture, which looks slick, serves up plenty of bang, and moves at a fast pace. The story is kept to a minimal, but for large sections of the movie it is hardly noticeable, as everything chugs along so quickly.
Would I have preferred a little more story? Sure, but despite the focus on action it does have some intimate moments, and these are very welcome.
These moments range from Kate’s reflection on her past, through to the realisation that her time is almost up. The scenes are all dropped into the movie at exactly the right time, offer balance amongst all the action, and provide a little depth to Kate’s character.
And then there is the film’s ace up its sleeve – Woody Harrelson, who drops in and out of the movie when required. His role is very small, so don’t get too excited, but he compliments the picture.
If I have a complaint about Kate, it’s that I could have done with maybe a couple of lighter moments, just to alleviate some of the darker sections of the film. Sure, this is a picture in which the central character is racing against the clock, with their life ticking away, but a couple of gags here or there wouldn’t have hurt.
Although I admit, the lack of some lighter moments certainly didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the movie. Perhaps I’m merely finding fault where fault doesn’t need to be found?
Kate won’t be for everyone, and it relies heavily on an investment in the action, but there’s much to enjoy here. For me, it zipped along, didn’t outstay its welcome, delivered that excellent turn from Winstead, and served up some dazzling visuals.
If punch-ups and shoot-outs aren’t your thing, then perhaps you should skip this one; but if the mere thought of brawls and explosions quickens your pulse, then head on over to Netflix. Kate comes locked and loaded, and while everything feels quite brisk, the film lands in just the right way.