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La Femme Nikita

review by David G.

 

Rated R

Studio: MGM

Running Time: 118 minutes

Starring: Anne Parillaud, Tcheky Karyo, Jean-Hugues Anglade

Written and Directed by Luc Besson

Retail Price: $19.98

Features: Trailer

Specs: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French Dolby Surround, French Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, Chapter Search

Nikita (Anne Parillaud) is a young punk belonging to a gang that burglizes a drug store because of their drug addiction. The police intervenes and everybody get skilled during a except Nikita who is arrested for the murder of a cop. In fact, she's given a second chance by the government. She is trained, confined during several years, by Marco (Tcheky Karyo) to become a perfect assassin. At her release, she feels free like never before and falls in love with Bob (Jean-Hugues Anglade) but her past will catch up to her.

Nikita is the third movie from Luc Besson after "Le Dernier Combat" and "Le Grand Bleu" and he wrote this film especially for Anne Parillaud. With Anne, Nikita first looks lost, hysterical and then sexy, frail but dangerous. This role was really a gift because it allowed to Anne to express a large range of emotions.

Although Luc Besson considers now this movie as his weakest movie, I don't agree with him. I think that he has to be more proud of Nikita than The Messenger or The Fifth Element. In contrast of this two last movies, Nikita respects the genre, a sort of action-comic movie with an unusual heroine. Obviously, the film does not lack of default but it seems sincere enough to touch us, much much more than this failure called The Story Of Joan Of Arc.

Furthermore, as I am French, I am proud to see a action French movie better than many American action movies (I guaranty I am not chauvinist!).

Nikita is presented in a 1.85:1 widescreen format. Despite some irritating compression artifacts at the beginning of the film (overall in the room of the awakening of Nikita), the picture is really good with deep black and well balanced colors.

Two soundtracks are proposed : English 5.1 Dolby Digital and French Dolby Surround. Both are high quality. The surround speaker's service are often used and the music of Eric Serra is well highlighted. I encourage you to watch this movie with the French soundtrack as the English dubbing sucks. Unfortunately, the French soundtrack is not 5.1 but it is as powerful as the 5.1.

Despite a pretty animated menu, there nothing but a theatrical trailer to complete the movie. There is a collectible booklet in the box, but it is too superficial to be interesting.

 

(4/5, NOT included in final score)

(3.5/5)

(4/5)

(1/5)

(3/5, NOT an average)

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