La Femme Nikita (1990)

Genres - Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Action Thriller  |   Release Date - Mar 8, 1991 (USA)  |   Run Time - 117 min.  |   Countries - France, Italy  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Brendon Hanley

Nikita (renamed "La Femme Nikita" for the U.S.) is writer/director Luc Besson's rhythmic, ultra-stylish, and gleefully ridiculous 1990 hit movie. A mixture of Pygmalion, Diva, and one of John Woo's choreographed action pictures, the film was one of a subgenre of action pictures to emerge in the 1990s, characterized by tongue-in-cheek stylistics and a hip, film noir-ish sensibility. Anne Parillaud, Besson's wife at the time, gives the film a sullen, acrimonious seriousness often missing in American films of this same type (i.e. Killing Zoe, The Long Kiss Goodnight). Nikita was remade in Hollywood as Point of No Return with Bridget Fonda and in Hong Kong as Black Cat; the film also spawned an American cable-television show called La Femme Nikita.