After a lackluster directorial debut in 2016 with The Huntsman: Winter’s War, Cedric Nicolas Troyan finds his niche in Netflix’s Kate. Trained at an early age by Varrick (Woody Harrelson), Kate (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is meticulous and preternaturally skilled. The perfect specimen of a finely tuned assassin at the height of her game. However, when she uncharacteristically blows an assignment targeting a member of the yakuza in Tokyo, she quickly discovers she has been poisoned.
Amid a brutally slow execution, that gives her less than 24 hours to exact revenge on her killers, Kate must act fast. As her body swiftly deteriorates, Kate forms an unlikely bond with Ani (Miku Martineau), the teenage daughter of one of her past victims. Umair Aleem’s script for Kate isn’t anything you haven’t seen before if you’re into action flicks.
Whether it’s The Professional, Proud Mary or The Mechanic, the plot template of an assassin wanting to go straight happens at least once a year on film. All of the plot points are here, the assassin is forced into one last job only to get double crossed by their employer, all while building a relationship with a civilian is there.
That said, I want to advise potential viewers to know exactly what to expect when you hit play on Kate. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is no stranger to the action genre having previously appeared in Live Free or Die Hard and last year’s Birds of Prey. This time out though, Winstead is all about breaking necks, with each action sequence becoming more brutal than the next.
Outside of Miku Martineau in the role of a foul-mouthed teenager who builds a friendly rapport with Kate, the supporting cast is on autopilot. For me, this was fine, as I was only concerned with seeing Kate take out the next bad guy. Woody Harrelson seems to be here for a paycheck, which is ok as I’m sure he will cut loose in next month’s Venom sequel.
Kate is not award worthy cinema, but it is mindless action entertainment and hopefully this is the start of a franchise for Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
Final Grade: B-
Kate is available to stream on Netflix tomorrow, September 10th at www.netflix.com/kate.