A rare example of a leading lady in an action/thriller, Nikita is, so long as disbelief is suspended, a fine genre entry, enhanced by Eric Senna’s atmospheric, commendable score. An early action set-piece echoes the hyper-stylised efforts of 80’s John Woo, but this isn’t an all-out action onslaught at any stage, there’s no bloated Third Act Syndrome here. Instead, Besson takes time to establish Nikita, creating...
I was completely unprepared for Anne Parillaud's performance. At first, I found her almost repulsive. And then she changes and it's so convincing that I'm quite moved by the end. Kudos. The only sour note is Jean Reno, who is hilarious, but almost seems to come from a different movie (that, and he's the worst cleaner of all time).
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.
I remember hating this the first time I saw it. The second time it was much better. I noticed much more how stylish Besson's direction was and how good Parillaud's performance was. An exceptional action-thriller.
I found that scene when Parillaud sits in front of a mirror and teaches Anne about makeup and grooming, hair care and eyeliner genuinely abominable. For me, seeing the grubby street waif turning into an attractive woman became an unacceptable stereotype of what females should be like.