Thursday, September 4, 2008

La Femme Nikita

Luc Besson, 1990, France (9.1*)

This hard-hitting crime film, another winner from director Besson (The Big Blue, The Professional), tells the story of a ruthless killer addict, Nikita, who shoots a policeman during a drug store robbery to steal drugs. The French authorities give her an option: assume a new identity and train as an assassin for them, or face execution.

What follows is a great spy/assassin story, more exciting than any James Bond film, and a classic of the genre. Anne Parillaud is terrific in her tranformation from criminal to reluctant assassin. Besson fave Jean Reno (The Professional) has a small but meaty part (!) as a cleaner. Not to be confused with the different tv show, which was a secret anti-terrorist organization and whose heroine wasn't a killer until they trained her.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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