An urgent life-or-death dilemma befalls Nikita--the feral street girl and violent drug addict--after killing a police officer at point blank. Hopeless, Nikita is given a new lease of life, when she reluctantly exchanges her doomed fate for a secret government program that promises to mould her into a cold-blooded assassin under the wing of her sadistic mentor, Bob. Now--with a new set of skills, a new identity, and lethally sophisticated looks--Nikita is the ultimate weapon and the perfect puppet for doing the government's dirty work; however, what happens if this trained killer chooses love over death?Written by
The 2008 US Blu-ray does not provide subtitles for the nursery rhyme Nikita sings half an hour in when she presents her computer instructor with a mouse. (The French subtitle track merely says that she sings obnoxiously.) Other editions, for example the original US laserdisc, however, provide a translation: "One white mouse / Ran into my house / I grabbed its tail / And made it wail". See more »
I think I probably watched this film at the wrong time. I first saw the American-language remake 'Assassin' back in the early nineties and have only just got round to watching the film it was based on, 'Nikita' (or 'La Femme Nikita' to be precise). Therefore, it's hard to accept that the French version is the original source material and not the remake. Both stay pretty much on the same story-telling path, telling the tale of a down-and-out, drug-addled young woman, killing a police officer in a burglary gone wrong, but eluding the death penalty in favour of working for a secret government agency to 'off' those who need disappearing. Yes, the plot is possibly a little far-fetched, but, if you can suspend your disbelief long enough, you'll find that it's well worth it.
What you get is the story of a tortured soul who's trying to make a fresh start of her life and yet keeps finding herself dragged back into the covert ways of the spy agency to do their dirty work. You will definitely feel for the lead and the writing is pretty solid for her and all those she encounters. It's one of those rare films where there isn't a discernible 'baddie' to take on. The 'bad-guy' (if it can be considered so) is the situation she's found herself in and her attempts to - once again - change her life for the better and truly escape the shackles she's found herself in - whether a slave to drug abuse or the government's whims.
I think the best thing about Nikita is its realism (yes, I know I've already said you have to suspend your disbelief to appreciate it, but hear me out...) - in many modern films where the lead is a female action hero who spends her time beating up dozens of burly men who stand in her way, you feel that - although cool to look at - it may not happen that way in real life. However, in Nikita she never uses her physical strength to overpower and take-down her targets. Instead, she uses her wits and deadeye with a sniper's rifle to get the dirty job done (and get home in time for tea with her new fella).
I'm glad I've watched the original. It's a decent film which blends action with genuine emotion for the characters, plus it's worth noting that it was good enough to inspire whoever greenlit its American remake NOT to change it so much that it's barely recognisable and remained true to what made it great in the first place.
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