La Femme Nikita

A high-gloss thriller from director-writer Luc Besson about the transformation of a sociopathic punk into a beautiful, enigmatic spy. After casually shooting a policeman during a bungled robbery attempt, Nikita (Parillaud) is tried and sentenced to death. Her nihilism lands her the chance to forego her sentence, in return for agreeing to work as an undercover...read more

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A high-gloss thriller from director-writer Luc Besson about the transformation of a sociopathic punk into a beautiful, enigmatic spy.

After casually shooting a policeman during a bungled robbery attempt, Nikita (Parillaud) is tried and sentenced to death. Her nihilism lands her the chance to forego her sentence, in return for agreeing to work as an undercover government agent/hit-person. During several years of training in a

mysterious high-tech compound, Nikita begins by exuding attitude--i.e. biting the ear of her karate instructor--but finally shapes up as an operative and is "released" into the world for a series of sleek, if farfetched assignments.

In the tradition of NOTORIOUS and DISHONORED, LA FEMME NIKITA features a morally questionable beauty burnished by a master spy, only to be converted from the secret trade by both a lover and the harsher elements of spycraft. LA FEMME NIKITA has far less substance than either of those films,

offering little in the way of character development or verisimilitude. We are never given a rationale for Nikita's missions, and the screenplay never even begins to explain her behavior. Jeanne Moreau's cameo as a woman who instructs our heroine in the art of femininity borders on the ludicrous.

For fans of Besson (SUBWAY, THE BIG BLUE), though, that's hardly the point. The director has turned out a supremely slick piece of entertainment where style triumphs over substance. The beautiful Parillaud leads us on a high-tech rollercoaster ride which, if you don't mind the stylized

ultra-violence and throwaway plot, can be a lot of fun.

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  • Released: 1990
  • Rating: R
  • Review: A high-gloss thriller from director-writer Luc Besson about the transformation of a sociopathic punk into a beautiful, enigmatic spy. After casually shooting a policeman during a bungled robbery attempt, Nikita (Parillaud) is tried and sentenced to death.… (more)

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