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4.5 out of 5 stars102
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 29 November 2011
Let me be clear at the very start. I love this film. However, you have to remember that Luc Besson has his strengths and weaknesses. In a review of The Fifth Element I likened that film to eating a big sloppy cheeseburger whilst riding the worst of Alton Towers' vomit comets - a sensorial feast, but one that you'll regret afterwards. Maybe Nikita isn't quite that extreme but it remains a typical Besson creation, big on style and low on substance.

By that, I mean that Nikita has no central message to convey, no moral justification for the events that it portrays and has little in the way of plot - indeed there is virtulally no discernible connection between the individual acts. What plot there is is simply a vehicle to convey a good looking, stylish and action film and THAT is what Besson does well - VERY well. In fact the film could be seen simply as a loosely connected series of McGuffins which allow Besson to portray a drop-dead gorgeous female lead in a variety of directorial set pieces, along with some gunplay, romance, and character studies. For instance, in the latter case, Besson introduces us to Jean Reno's "Cleaner" (a prototype of his later more developed character in Leon). Why? Who is the guy? What's his history? What is the point of the character in relation to Nikita herself or the events of the movie? Who cares? The Cleaner is simply a fantastic, well realised character piece. And that is what the film is about - style and look. Anne Parrilaud certainly brings huge style and look to the film. Admittedly she looks a million miles away from a drug addled, murderer-turmed-government-assassin, but what does that matter when she looks so hot?

The film certainly achieved its goals because it looked good enough to spawn a Hollywood remake (The Assassin, which many hated, but I reckoned was OK) and an abysmal TV series ("La Femme Nikita").

In the final analysis, you need to approach this one with care. Don't go expecting much in the way of cerebral stimulation or deep-cover acting, just enjoy it for what it is - two hours of eye-candy.

Bob: I work for the government and we've decided to give you another chance.
Nikita: What do I do?
Bob: Serve your country.
Nikita: What if I don't want to?
Bob: Row 8, Plot 30.
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on 16 December 2003
I've loved Luc Besson's Nikita since the first time I saw it - even with the abysmal American dubbing. The second time I saw it, I was lucky, and caught the original language version - still visually stunning, but so much better without shonky dubbing.
The DVD is more of the same - Nikita is a beautiful film, absolutely fantastic. The storyline is well, there, and the rest of it is just pure entertainment.
But be warned, the DVD is the shonky dubbed version. It's still a good film - but try to keep an eye open for a subtitled one if possible.
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on 8 September 2015
Along with Leon, is Besson's best film ever. Presented on an excellent blu ray, Nikita paved the way to the contemporary french (if not european) action cinema. It's a cold lit and cold-blooded story of a woman losing her nature to find redemption yet progressively and desperately trying to regain her dignity and feminine side before losing everything again. It is a detour plot, with some tragedy constantly hiding round the corner, but nonetheless it is also a very enjoyable, cool, entertaining and adrenalinic film. Anne Parillaud is a striking revelation as well as Besson's style, that skillfully manages to swing around a merely music video/commercial visual approach, giving density, drama and depth to the scenes (even action ones are not just merely action scenes), letting the actors and characters show their personality and inner drama, yet not renouncing to amuse and adopt any kind of visual, sound and editing solution to make it all look very cool.
At the end of the day, however, Nikita is a French film (in a good way), meaning it's focused on the dramatic progression of the story and the ambiguous fascination of its atmosphere
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VINE VOICEon 25 October 2010
This original version is really top notch French film making at its very best. The plot revolves around a girl criminal, forced to become an assassin for the French Secret Service. Every performance is flawless, the suspense maintained throughout, and the ending suitably satisfying. Forget the US remake, and the subsequent telly series, this is the real deal. European Cinema at the top of the game. I defy you to be disappointed. No less than five stars for this modern classic.
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on 20 November 2009
Only the French could invent a heroine like Nikita, tragic, mad, dangerous but ultimately vunerable. Watch this film, the scene where she is walking home from her 'date' with the rain pouring down, her stockings shredded and mascara streaming down her face. If this was Hollywood, she would have a slightly torn dress and a tiny cut over one eye.

A shocking film but a must see. One of my favourites but only watch it with subtitles, not the dubbed version.
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on 17 November 2011
First time i saw this film on tv, many years ago it had me repeating scenes in my mind. So i watched it again and it still impresses me with it's style and flow. Screenplay is very well paced, like most of Besson's films and captures your attention so well. Many films today do not have that directorial talent to draw you into a film aswell as Besson does, and Nikita is no exeption despite it's age.
The action scenes flow so fluidly, mounting tension, with moving cameras and fantastic score, thanks to Eric Serra who scores most, if not all of Besson's films. Besson loves the style and power of guns and this film is a good example of that, although he knows when to stop and when to pick up the pace. In all his films though, the emotion of LOVE is always there to finally blossom in the later scenes. Nikita has all of this and is a stylish thriller that has inspired and copied, but never bettered. Just a shame he hasn't directed any more films like this, as opposed to the kids films he has directed recently. Nikita should be in everybody's dvd collection.
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on 19 February 2013
Superb Luc Besson film with Anne Parillaud absoutely stunning as the nihilistic drug-taking young woman who is turned into a state killing machine. Sounds unlikely but her transformation is convincingly drawn. I bought this to replace a rather poor VHS version. Worth every penny
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on 22 September 2010
A very enjoyable film. I saw it for the first time in Canada 10 years ago, that was the Americanised version, and I felt that I had to see it again. The American version pictured Nikita being executed by poisoned injection, while the French version adapted to the current legal position in France. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the plot, I didn't buy it for that purpose. I bought it for the French language content. I purchased the video to brush up on French colloquial expressions. The "jurons" and "the français argotique". As a retired French teacher I would recommend this video to the more advanced students of the French language.
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on 8 March 2013
The film was another gripping production of Luc Besson,and fabulous performance by Anne Parillaud. Way better than the US version which followed. Great photography and film score. It does help to watch the French version as parts get lost in translation.
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on 30 January 2001
This film certainly gives subtitled films a good rep. I remember watching this film on TV a few years back and it has stuck in my mind ever since. The plotline is so fascinating and it keeps hold of you the whole way through. The acting from all cast members is outstanding. Hollywood tried doing a copy of it with 'Assassin' and totally destroyed it. V. good film, watch it
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