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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 14.58%
Average: 31.25%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 2.08%

3 reviews, 30 user ratings

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La Femme Nikita
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by Chris Parry

"A classic story that Hollywood actually improved on."
3 stars

Not the Bridget Fonda version (that's Assassin), not the awful TV version (that's La Femme Nikita), but the real thing. Luc Besson's 1990 French career-maker which was considered so good it had to be remade for an American audience.

Now, remakes usually make my blood run cold and had I seen the original first, I'm sure the remake would have irked me relentlessly. Thing is, I actually like the remake better. Taking into account that the version of Nikita I saw was terribly dubbed into English, had some of the worst foley work I've seen and a disgraceful sound mix, it's not surprising it didn't go down well.

The story is great. A junkie sent to jail for life is taken in by the Government to be trained as an assassin, a position she excels at until she falls in love...

French actress Annie Parillaud is brilliant in the lead role, but of her supporting cast only a fleeting Jean Reno appearance as Victor The Cleaner comes close. The musical score by Eric Serra (K-Dog will kill me for this) is awful. Perhaps in the late 80's it went over better, but to me it seemed right out of place throughout.

The direction... well Besson isn't one to sit the camera in the middle of the room and play it out. He is an awesome director and manages to get the most out of every inch of screen.

But much as it pains me to say it, Nikita is not that great. Perhaps having just seen Besson's masterpiece Leon (The Professional) I expected too much. Perhaps seeing Assassins first took away from the awe of a great story. Perhaps the bullshit non-quality of the dubbed (read destroyed) version I saw was tooo much.

Whatever the reasoning behind it, I just can't give Nikita more than 3 stars. 4 if you see it without dubbing. 4 1/2 if you see it without having seen Assassin.

Ah, fuck it. Just go rent The Professional. That's a much more awesome experience.

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originally posted: 01/02/99 20:04:50
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User Comments

8/21/12 edutra american remake is decent, but this version is trash 1 stars
10/10/05 Agent Sands The remake's actually better. This one's a little too pokey. 3 stars
7/26/05 Asia amazing movie. 5 stars
1/13/05 Tom Benton Luc Besson's first masterpiece, a stylish, artistic thriller; one of the best of the 90's. 5 stars
11/16/04 matt wakeman Stylish but also surprisingly touching. 4 stars
9/26/04 Tor Honolulu This is the real thing, the authentic, the original, the worthy one 5 stars
5/19/04 John a little far fetched but fun - a few good sequences make it worth while 4 stars
3/27/04 SoulFx i love movies with great style! :) 5 stars
3/26/04 bikehorn Parillaud is amazing. This part was written for her. Great film 4 stars
9/29/02 Desaparecido Real urchin to real lady. Thorny throughout. Pple w holes in their souls (not instead of). 5 stars
4/25/02 Butterbean Parillaud reign surpreme over Bridgette Fonda's unconvincing "hollywoodish" version. 4 stars
11/28/01 Dylan Pemberton Cooler than a month in Antartica with bermuda shorts & packs of ice strrapped to your body 5 stars
11/11/01 R.W. Welch Implausible, hyper-violent stuff, stylishily done by good cast. 4 stars
8/29/01 INCUBATOR Rulez forever 5 stars
6/17/01 The Bomb 69 great flick, the ending was off-putting though 4 stars
5/18/01 Bada Bing Crosby Magnificent in every area. That means it was not made in Hollywood by a-holes 5 stars
5/07/01 Mikko Salminen Surprising and original. 5 stars
11/28/00 MovieBuff2000 Everyone has to see this movie! 5 stars
10/20/00 Johnny Figaro American ripoffs are aggravating, but also a testament to the impact of the original 5 stars
5/27/00 The Cleaner fucking rocked! kicked all ass! naw, ever luc besson film rocks 5 stars
12/13/99 olivier Brun You have to be French... This movie IS awesome! 5 stars
5/23/99 GothamDK Classic action with great style. TV & Point of NR are an insult. They just don't get it. 5 stars
5/07/99 Lucas Jackson This was a good movie,but I have seen lots better 3 stars
12/14/98 Jules When action movies had action and story. But not 5* for films like Reservoir Dogs. 4 stars
12/14/98 Shadow Raider Great movie, great TV series. Up yours, Buffy! 5 stars
12/13/98 Binky A great film that has way more class than the remake. 5 stars
11/25/98 Mr.Pink Entertaining, baeutiful and well-made, but it's very shallow 3 stars
11/23/98 Lord Of The Dunce It doesn't get any better than this. French or no, you need to see thie movie, now. 5 stars
10/28/98 Silent Rob A great film that has inspired others to mediocrity. Avoid 'Point of No Return', PLEASE!!! 5 stars
10/02/98 {{{OZ}}} This is a great fucking movie. The remakes were not even close to this brilliance. 5 stars
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  02-Oct-1990 (R)


  02-Oct-1990 (MA)

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