Everything about Kate, the latest Netflix non-stop action movie is familiar and simple. This doesn’t mean that the movie is bad or boring because I really enjoyed it. Sometimes this is exactly the movie you want to see. Brainless action that might actually surprise you with a couple of authentic elements. We will be following a skilled assassin over the period of 24 hours as she’s trying to complete her last mission. No bullshit, no filler, just straight-up shootouts, chase scenes, and nicely choreographed fights. The cinematography is very juicy and appealing with a neon glow to it. It reminded me of another solid movie with a kick-ass female protagonist, The Atomic Blonde. Although the overall vibe and visuals are much more similar to the 2019 oddity Guns Akimbo.
Kate also has a distinctive video game vibe to it. It feels like you’re watching someone play the latest GTA clone, this time set in Japan. Sleeping Dogs is the game you’re thinking of and it’s still pretty good. You can clearly feel they are trying to capitalize on this “Asian culture thing” that they barely understand. This brings us the fact that this is actually a very formulaic, generic, and above all commercial movie. And while the setting actually works and sets the movie apart from the dozens and dozens of similar ones, almost everything else is generic. Especially when it comes to the characters and the story. Luckily they didn’t go for the PG rating so we will get some pretty nasty fights and kills.
Meet Kate, an extremely skilled assassin working for a mysterious organization. As she’s about to routinely execute her latest target she starts feeling sick and misses the shot. The next thing she knows, she’s in the hospital and the doctor is telling her she’s been poisoned by Polonium 204. Now, she has only 24 hours to find out what happened.
I think that the best thing about Kate is Mary Elizabeth Winstead. She made this movie into a watchable and entertaining action extravaganza. I remember seeing her for the first time in 2011 The Thing prequel and being blown away by her performance. Here she showcases not just her acting skills but also amazing physical abilities going all in. This makes the fights seem exciting and somewhat realistic. I also have to mention Miku Martineau as Ani with her quite memorable performance. I have feeling she’ll soon be one of those young rising stars. If she isn’t already.
When it comes to the fights and non-stop action, if you’re craving for more, you can always see The Raid one more time. And if you’ve just seen it, there’s always The Night Comes For Us. Hell, if I still smoked weed regularly, this movie would be on top of my watch list.
I wonder if, in twenty or thirty years, Kate will become one of the cult classics for whatever reason. Despite all its flaws, it has some ethereal quality that sets it apart from the rest of the commercial drudge. And 2021 saw the release of a couple of real stinkers. First of all, I give you the most generic and safe movie ever released Red Notice. I haven’t seen anything so safe and dull in a long time. Secondly, we have a string of strong female character movies like Gunpowder Milkshake, The Protege, and Jolt. And I have to stop here before I get too worked up. Compared to these movies, Kate is an original and exciting movie. So, if you’re craving for some easygoing action check it out.
Director: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan
Writer: Umair Aleem
Cast: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Woody Harrelson, Miku Patricia Martineau, Tadanobu Asano, Jun Kunimura
Fun Facts: Members of Japanese all-female hard rock group BAND-MAID appear in the movie as themselves.