Netflix doesn’t want to wait a month since the release of its discreet ‘Sweet Girl’ to show its great interest in action cinema in order to attract as many viewers as possible to the platform. For this she has chosen ‘Kate’, a thriller directed by Mary Elizabeth Winstead whose premise is immediately reminiscent of titles like ‘Crank’ or ‘John Wick’ and which premieres this Friday, 10 September.
The actress plays here as Kate, a hitman who wants to live a normal life, but everything changes when she is poisoned, leaving her with only 24 hours to live. It sets off a powerful vengeance weighed down by a script full of clichés and a less than stimulating treatment of action scenes.
That a film is predictable isn’t necessarily bad, as it’s much better to reach a coherent ending with what has been seen before trying to pull off a so-called twist to drive the audience away. Problems arise when conventional materials are approached with reluctance, giving the feeling that you just want to fulfill the ballot before moving on to another project that is more stimulating to the participants.
It’s a feeling that hovers around ‘Kate’ almost all the time, as Winstead is the only one who seems to take her seriously to convince perhaps as an arm to take woman who will do anything to achieve her goals. It’s a shame that the choreography and editing work didn’t allow her to shine more, but the actress embroidered the deadliest side of her character, making it clear that she could kick anyone’s ass in her path.
And the script does it a disservice when it comes to his character, because at first we see a slightly more vulnerable side of the human who wants to get away from the only life he knows and then becomes an invincible robot. It’s true that it’s nuanced minute by minute, especially as the poison starts to work, but the characters are still too one-dimensional for the delivery that ‘Cloverfield Street 10’ protagonists exhibit.
It doesn’t exploit his virtue
Unfortunately, it’s something that transfers to the film on all levels, both in terms of sheer plot development, seeing all the threads screenwriter Umair Aleem would have pulled from afar, and at times discussing the rest of the characters. or the fact that the story takes place in Japan.
It’s fair to point out that this last point helped director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan give ‘Kate’ a certain visual style, but she did so without going beyond the surface, thus ending up being something of an accessory rather than a truly distinctive element. Perhaps the only exception is the character played by Jun Kunimura, who reflects different cultural sensibilities, who manages to redirect the energy transmitted by the film in a timely manner.
Beyond that, the film is steeped in vengeance that looks incredibly timely—some of the protagonist’s physical performances—but is generally grueling, and the worst part is that it doesn’t take too long to accomplish. He also didn’t expect a casual approach like ‘Crank’ or the visual energy comparable to ‘John Wick’, but he didn’t feel that way anymore when it came to approaching a story with enough possibilities to hook the audience.
That’s probably the biggest problem, as ‘Kate’ seems to want to give dramatic depth to what she’s telling, relying on a character played effortlessly by a young Miku Martineau, but the connection with the protagonist never ends flowing. Mind you, that’s a lot more interesting than the relationship between the characters in Winstead and Woody Harrelson which is so pointless.
“Kate” is a flop where Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s impressive performance isn’t enough to make a routine proposal that never taps into the most stimulating material available. I wouldn’t say it’s bad either, but it doesn’t contribute much, even as a hobby.