A drugged out. almost brain-dead punk full of attitude and anger, Nikita is caught after helping rob a drug store, leaving several cops dead. She’s given a choice. Accept a quiet death penalty, or agree to be trained to be a secret government assassin. A good part of the film (and arguably the most interesting) is her training itself, as Nikita’s rebellious nature keeps getting her pushed to the edge of getting kicked out (and hence executed), while her strange sullen sexiness begins to seduce her Henry Higgins, an agent assigned to oversee her who finds himself getting more than a bit obsessed. Meanwhile, the always wonderful Jeanne Moreau tries to teach this nihilistic punk how to come off as a woman of the world, the better to be able to get close to her targets.
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.