By Debbie Elicksen.
I admit that I watched the movie La Femme Nikita (1990) in reverse order. Being such a fan of the TV show (1997 to 2001 and five stars), it was hard not to compare everything to it. I thought the new Nikita television series (2010 to 2013) fell short by miles and was one-star material. This movie, however, held its own.
Directed and written by Luc Besson, the movie La Femme Nikita is about a drug addicted woman who, with her gang of thug friends, gets involved with a robbery gone bad. Nikita (Anne Parillaud) is the lone survivor of the mess and shoots a policeman in cold blood. She is sentenced to life in prison and ends up in an unusual cell, where she is offered a new identity to become a government assasin. Her direct supervisor Bob (Tchéky Karyo) develops a deep bond during her training. When she is finally elevated to agent status, she falls in love with a civilian, which complicates her assignments.
Nikita is a strong female character and hard to tame. She lets her emotions guide her behavior. The movie’s portrayal has her a lot more edgier and less vulnerable than the earlier television series with Peta Wilson taking the lead.