Nikita [DVD] 
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Anne Parillaud plays Nikita, a nihilistic punk who is given a life sentence for killing a policeman. Without warning she is transferred to a secret training centre where the mysterious Bob (Tchéky Karyo) transforms her into a ruthless government assassin. Directed by Luc Besson, the film was remade in America as 'The Assassin' in 1993.
French director Luc Besson broke the commercial taboo against female-driven action movies with Nikita, his seminal, seductively slick film about a violent street punk (Anne Parillaud) trained to become a smooth, stylish assassin. Though it amounts, in the end, to little more than disposable pop, the film has a cohesiveness in style and tone--akin to the early James Bond films--that gives it a sense of integrity. Parillaud is compelling both as a wild child and chic-but-lethal pro (trained in good manners by none other than Jeanne Moreau). Tchéky Karyo is also good as the cop mentor who develops feelings for her. --Tom Keogh
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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
Anne Parillaud stars as a junkie sentenced to life imprisonment after killing a police officer only to be given a chance to redeem herself by carrying out missions (usually assassinations) for a mysterious government agency. After completing her training Parillaud is released into the city and meets a kind and quirky supermarket cashier (the always brilliant Jean-Hugues Anglade) with whom she forms a passionate relationship. Parillaud is forced to lead a double life: carrying out government hits while trying to lead a normal life with Anglade. Over time Anglade begins to suspect that Parillaud is keeping secrets, and things come to a bloody head when a hit goes very wrong.
If you can get over the absurdity of the central premise (why would the government train a junkie cop killer to become an assassin?), Nikita is a brilliant film; touching, harrowing and at times brutally violent. Parillaud is excellent for the most part, though some of her outbursts are rather bizarre, and there is terrific support not only from Anglade but also from Tcheky Karyo as Parillaud’s government handler who is secretly in love with her. Eric Serra provides a great sythentiser score, at times reminiscent of Brad Fiedel’s work on the Terminator films.
Nikita looks great on Blu Ray but the extras are a little underwhelming; most date from an early 2000s DVD release and are all in standard def.Read more ›
It received mixed reviews at the time of its release with many I am sure "thinking what was that about?" Is it merely a narrative or is there some meaning? Personally I think it is just a narrative in which you are invited to enjoy the action and the fine acting from Anne Parillaud as Nikita/Marie/Josephine and a marvellous cameo by Jean Reno as Victor the "Cleaner" whilst reflecting on the evil of the French state in creating the assassin in the first place.
It is worth the watch though and it is understandable that it was such a hit in France. Just don't knock yourself out looking for the hidden meanings and you will be disappointed too if you are a pure action movie fan (which I am not).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Absolute crap! I saw this film on telly and thought I was getting the original french film with subtitles but this was dubbed and parts of the movie was missing. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Tracy
The original and best version of this movie. Europeans just do it better than Hollywood ever does.Published 4 months ago by Sally O'Brien
Great original....tho prefer the assassin with bridget fondaPublished 5 months ago by rachel malley
One of my favourite French films. Full of action and emotiion and quirkily French. Not to be overlooked.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Film Great - DVD quality awful and as it was a Christmas present (I shop well in advance) I was too late for a refund!!!!Published 7 months ago by Evan Holton