La Femme Nikita [Import]
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This is often argued to be a film of style over substance, and in the big picture that’s probably fair. And it didn't hold up quite as well on a recent 2nd viewing 20+ years later as I hoped. But still, this spends more time on human interaction and emotion, and less on blowing stuff up than almost any of its contemporary counterparts, Not art, but for a popcorn movie smart, inventive and fun.
...zut alors! The anamorphic widescreen picture quality is still lousy. Grainy, occasionally pixelized. Look at patterns in the background during the movie and the problems are quite evident. For example, in one scene when Nikita is in training and chatting with her trainer Bob in her room, a grill on a piece of furniture on the left side of the screen creates a hugely distracting pattern that always diverts my eye.
But we get some special features with this special edition, right? Only with the most liberal definition of "special." These empty chats and documentaries are considered standard features for most other DVDs, so I'm not sure what we're supposed to think is special. There's even an easter egg, though it's not hidden, so I guess it's just an egg. But since it's just a short set of film clips, not all that exciting, I guess it's a rotten egg.
There are a few improvements. The English subtitles are better less distracting to those of you who speak French. The 5.1 soundtrack is still solid, though not noticeably better than the one on the original MGM disc. I'm not sure if it was remixed. If you don't own a copy of this movie, by all means buy the special edition. If you own the previous version, learn from my mistake and either keep you original version or sell it and buy a used copy of the special edition. Or lobby MGM for a real "special" edition.
The French film is starker and grimer and it is more elegant.
The opening of the film shows some hopeless junkies commiting a mindless and violent jukie crime. A press report of the incident is released saying that all of the criminals involved have been killed. However one has not, that being Nikita. She has been taken into custody by the security services. They want to train her as an killer. As she is legally dead they have considerable control over her life.
The film is a sort of My Fair Lady as the hopeless junkie is trained not only in how to use weapons but in make up and deportment. The idea is that she has been chosen because of her looks and sex appeal.
The plot of the moview involves her development as a killer and her attempts to regain some form of normal life.
When it was released the film was fresh and based on an original idea. The film is very French in that the main is gorgous, the dressing is elegant and the film is gripping and well done. A classic of the genre.
Most recent customer reviews
This original film precedes the American version entitled ''Point of No Return''. This french version is superior to the American version in some respects, but is inferior in... Read morePublished 17 months ago by email@example.com
One of my favorite French Films of all time. Lovely story of a girl who is taken from a bad place and put into a difficult position of being an assassin. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Rosemary Wilson
I originally watched this film on pirate satellite in Central America with English subtitles. Loved every moment of it and simply a joy to see again after almost 20 years.Published 21 months ago by Shawn Brisbin
Good picture quality but the voice sound is ovewhelmed by the background music. I would not recommend this product to a friend.Published on Dec 28 2011 by Amazon
I hate to disagree with so many well written reviews, but as much as I love Le Femme Nikita, I prefer Point Of No Return. Read morePublished on Oct. 1 2006 by Paul Christy
After a bloody shootout at a pharmacy where all of her gang memeber friends are killed, Nikita (Parillaud), high on drugs, kills a policeman in cold blood and is captured and... Read morePublished on Jan. 27 2004 by Rodrigo Llamozas
Sensitive, sophisticated, violent, and exquisite are some of the adjectives that could best describe this tour de force movie by Luc Besson. Read morePublished on Sept. 4 2003 by Lloyd Greg
The "Nikita" hardcore can celebrate MGM's rerelease of the French action film, a single-disc affair that should erase memories of the studio's botched first DVD, from... Read morePublished on Aug. 23 2003 by Flipper Campbell
After years of remakes and cable shows, I see this film today and there is a combined sense of romance and danger that can't be recreated by anyone but Besson. Read morePublished on July 31 2003 by B. Pytlinski
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