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Stiff competition between streaming networks has made it common to see exciting new releases relatively frequently. Some time ago we commented in this space “Jolt”, an action proposal launched by Prime Video and starring Kate Beckinsale. The film told the story of a woman who was born with a rare disorder, which – every time she got upset – gave her killer outbursts that could only be stopped by electrical shocks.
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This ‘fatal woman’ profile is quite similar to the one now presented by “Kate”, Netflix’s new bet for action film fans. In this nearly two-hour film, Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays Kate, a serial killer who just after deciding to “retire” is poisoned with a dose of polonium. Knowing that she only has 24 hours to live, she decides to go after those responsible for her condition and take revenge by killing them.
The first thing to mention is that the story takes place in Japan. We are not just talking about a circumstantial factor. There is on the tape Cedric Nicolas-Troyan various allusions to contemporary Japanese pop culture. From the music, to the outfits of young people attending night parties in Tokyo, to the neon lights (which abound) and the modern cars with screeching colors.
Kate is capable of crying, of caring for a girl and compassion for an orphan; that is, to become witnesses of a human history
Going back to the plot, Kate is a mercenary who has been raised and trained by Varrick (Woody Harrelson). From a very young age, after the death of her parents, it was this dark character who, in exchange for educating and training the then-future hit man, would later force her to insert herself into the world of violence, entrusting her with a series of tasks of all kinds. But there was one that Kate disliked too much: killing the relative of a Japanese mobster in the presence of her youngest daughter.
While her heart is slowing down little by little, Kate wipes out the entourage of the person suspected of being poisoned. Here comes the first strength of this film: his remarkable stunt work and maneuvering. For almost two hours we will see quite precise confrontations, which make us remember not only the aforementioned “Jolt”, but even relatively recent great hits of the genre such as “John Wick” or “El Justiciero”.
But, although what is said is important in this and any film, without a doubt that Winstead’s work deserves a separate mention. She is responsible for this movie not being just a trail of blood, gunshots and severed fingers. The North Carolina-born actress has made Kate’s robot of annihilation capable of crying, caring for a girl and compassion for an orphan; that is to say, to become witnesses of a human history.
While trying to find the mastermind behind her poisoning, Kate finds Ani (Miku Patricia Martineau), a girl linked to that crime that she so refused to commit. From that moment on, we will witness the story of an extremely interesting duo. The hitman who suffers the ravages of polonium in her body, supported by a girl who from her audacity is capable of making her feel “part of something.” And that is not a small thing if throughout your life you dedicated yourself to eliminating stocks on request.
For his part, the experienced Woody Harrelson fulfills his role as Varrick very well, an unscrupulous mercenary who is capable of the worst in order to achieve his ends, and who will star in a somewhat forced twist in the last part of the film. After him come the members of the Japanese mafia who, if it is true, serve as an effective troupe for 146 minutes of action under shadows and neon lights.
Although from the beginning one is warned that Kate will die, it would not be strange that some feed their hope – as the minutes of the film progress – that there may be a different outcome. That, however, is what matters the least because in front of us we will have a true ‘killing machine’ that will not hesitate if it is about expressing its feelings. That is, someone like any of us.
Original title: “Kate”.
Synopsis: In Tokyo, a ruthless killer has been poisoned before her latest mission. You now have less than 24 hours to find out who did it and exact revenge.
Duration: 1 hour and 46 minutes
Director: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan
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Netflix | “Kate”: to see or not to see the new action movie with Mary Elizabeth Winstead that is sweeping streaming? | REVIEW | Premieres