Superb slice of gallic noir with Besson in fine form. Parrillaud is relevatory as the eponymous hero and the support cast is equally great. The movie both manage believable drama and pulse raising thrills which is not always easy to achieve. Sure, some parts feel quite dated and the pacing could have been better. Still a cool classic!
Everytime I watch it I'm fascinated from Luc Besson's ability to inject such emotion into an action-packed film (as he also did with Leon). Anne Parillaud's seminal performance as Nikita pulls you into the character and distances you at the same time.
Eric Serra's late-80s metallic sounding score also lifts the film to another dimension.
This film was radical for 1990--a female assassin who also had a sweet boyfriend! I even got my hair cut like hers. Today it feels a bit tired. The wigs are terrible, and the "My Fair Lady" makeover to teach her how to be acceptably "feminine" is long and grating. Even the last scene feels heavy-handedly patriarchal, as the two men negotiate her fate. Still, it opened the door for more female action hero films.
What makes 'Nikita' so special is definitely how different the main character is from most female characters in action movies nowadays. Nikita is messy - physically and psychologically - she is pretty but she is not over-sexualized. In that aspect it is very different from most action movies out there. The sadistic 'handler' is also a really cool character with an interesting relationship with Nikita. Worth a watch.
Had seen this as a teen but didn't form an opinion. Now I see why - there's a few films at play. Besson is a consummate stylist but his stories and characters are poorly written. It elides all the details of the organisation to fetishize his ingenue's awakenings but gives her little arc to resolve. It originates ideas that will be explored better elsewhere, disappointingly a drama when I was looking for an action
Un film "clip" qui peut plaire par son ton volontairement "branché" et quelques "originalités" de script plutôt... banales, mais qui, honnêteté et distanciation obligées, ne vaut pas... une rame de métro. Changez plutôt de quai ou de moyen de locomotion. www.cinefiches.com