“A female assassin has 24 hours to get vengeance on her poisoner before she dies.”

Director: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan
Writers: Umair Aleem
Staring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Woody Harrelson, Miku Patricia Martinez, Tadanobu Asano
Streaming: Peacock
Release Date: September 10, 2021

Kate came out the day after my birthday. I wanted to see it then but kept on getting distracted. Now having finally watched it this past weekend, I can unequivocally say I am glad I put Kate off. The movie is meant to be an action escape, however it suffers from a boring story, lack of original directing and uninspiring characters.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays Kate, an assassin trained since her youth by Varrick (Woody Harrelson). After Kate blows an assignment, she finds out that she has been poisoned and she has only 24 hours to live and exact revenge on those she things responsible. Over the course of a day she kicks some ass, develops an unluckily bond with a child and forges allegiances she never thought she would have.

Elizabeth Winstead, who is well experienced in action movies, doesn’t have enough around her in Kate to make it all come together. The story is predictable to a fault with how foreshadowed the eventual twist is. The love for Boom Boom Lemon is reminiscent of Tallahassee’s humanizing (Woody Harrelson) love for Twinkies in Zombieland (2007). Have to make ruthless killers human-like somehow.

What ends up happening is Kate retraces the steps leading back to when she was poisoned and from there she terrorizes, tortures and kills her way to the top. In the end it is a game of gang affiliations, political maneuvering and personal one-up-men-ship.

One wishes they would care about the way Kate ends, but in the end it doesn’t really matter. The story of self-acceptance and determination is not accented by all the violence, rather it is hindered by it. There is not violence for the sake of story telling, there is violence only for the sake of blood and carnage. It is really hard to just have an emotional connection with anything that is happening.

I want to compare Kate with another Netflix original action movie that came out earlier this year, Gunpowder Milkshake (2021). Both movies have a badass women in the lead role and a child that ends up needing protection. The biggest difference is in the action and the tone of the movies. Kate is dark, set in a more grunge Japan setting. The vibe is more sorrowful than rompy. Gunpowder Milkshake is set mostly in the light and the tone of the entire story is more sassy than serious. In Gunpowder Milkshake, Karen Gillan is given characters and unique settings to bounce off of. Mary Elizabeth Winstead does not have that luxury in Kate.

If you want to have a romp in the form of a low-effort action Netflix vessel, I recommend Extraction (2020) or Triple Frontier (2019).

STANKO RATING: D (1.5/5 Stars)


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