Nikita (1990) Director: Luc Besson a jpoc movie review
A great thriller. Stylish, slick and fast paced.
Main Cast
Anne Parillaud Nikita
Tchéky Karyo Bob
Jeanne Moreau Amande Philippe
Jean-Hugues Anglade Marco
Jean Reno Victor the cleaner
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My Rating and viewing notes
Seven out of ten.

A great film, track down the French version with sub-titles. I first watched it dubbed into German with no subtitles but I bought it on tape in the UK in 1998.

The jpoc review
Nikita (Anne Parillaud) is running with a gang of violent drug crazed punks. Their last big raid, on the pharmacy run by the father of one their number, ends in the kind of shoot out that would later become associated with Tarantino. Several cops and the whole gang except for Nikita lay dead and she is put on trial and sentenced to life in prison.

Bob, (Tcheky Karyo) an officer in the French Security Service thinks that Nikita has some potential. He arranges for her death to be faked and makes a proposal to her. If she is willing, she can be trained as a government killer and given a new life. If she is not willing, or fails to make the grade, the faked death will become a real one.

Her training does not just teach her to become a better killer. Armande (Jeanne Moreau) teaches her how to be a polished and attractive young lady as well. Finally, she is sent out with a cover ID and a series of missions. She is good at her job and her missions are successful but there is just one problem. She has learned more than just how to kill and how to appear feminine. She has learned how to fall in love and must work out how to keep her life with her boyfriend Marco (Jean-Hugues Anglade) separate from her working relationship with Bob.

It's a good story and we see lots of fast paced action. Even in the slower sections, such as where Nikita must introduce Bob and Marco, the tension is high. More than this, we see real character development. Nikita is full of resourcefulness from the start and she learns many things in the course of her training. Often, things that her tutors did not realise that they were teaching.

Right at the end, there is an appearance by Jean Reno in which he presages his later role as the "cleaner" in Leon. The man who sorts out everyone else's worst mess.

Finally, a word of advice. If you can find a copy, watch the French language version with sub titles. You may not understand much of the dialogue but the expressions and the melody of the language still come through.