• Steve Titcomb

Nutshell Review: Kate

PG Score: 6/10

Kate is available for streaming on Netflix


Directed by Cedric Nicolas-Troyan (The Huntsman), Kate is the story of an assassin in which things do not go to plan and vengeance ensues. Set in Japan, Kate stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Birds of Prey) in the titular role with a supporting cast that includes Woody Harrelson, Michiel Huisman, Jun Kunimara and up-and-comer Miku Martineau. The film opens up in Osaka where Varrick (Harrelson) gives Kate Intel on her next job, which has one slight hiccup. A kid (Martineau) is alongside Kate’s target, but despite being against code, is given the green light to execute. Ten months later, we are in Tokyo and Kate is ready to leave the assassination business behind. Following an interesting encounter with Stephen (Huisman), her night doesn’t go quite as planned as she must complete her final job within the remaining 24 hours she has to live.

Solid Cast. Poor Storytelling

Winstead is a wonderful actress who is no stranger to action films, and Kate takes it to another level. Set at night, the film traverses Japanese streets with well-choreographed fight scenes and gruesome violence that do their part in making up for a predictable and unoriginal story. Helped along by the soundtrack, Kate has a fast pace that does not do enough to cover up for the film’s inefficiencies. Harrelson’s Varrick is wasted until the climax of the film and even then it is a stretch. Narrative inefficiencies lead to an incomplete story arc.

Fight Scenes. Not Much Else.

Netflix was apparently hoping to draw viewers in with the 1-2 punch of Winstead and Harrelson, but it is not enough to make this movie a recommended choice. Great fight scenes only take it so far, and unfortunately, that is the only memorable aspect. Assassin and revenge films are nothing new to cinema and Kate does nothing different to make it stand out. I would give this one a pass.

PG Score: 6/10

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