Kate follows an assassin raised to kill who is ready for retirement when she’s poisoned and left with 24 hours to live.
This action flick follows our titular protagonist through the streets of Japan, on a mission to get revenge with what little time she has left.
Kate's storyline is an amalgamation of action tropes and borrowed plot twists, but let's face it, most action is these days; it doesn’t stop them being any less entertaining. If we are living in a world that is still making Fast and Furious movies, then the main critique of Kate being that ‘we’ve seen this before’ is weak.
It’s nice to see a female badass avoid the clutches of overt sexualisation that this genre often shoves in your face, but you can feel in its runtime that it’s missing a little something.
There were moments where it teased the idea of larger character and development; maybe if it allowed itself some extra doses of the silliness it teases throughout, the emotional plot points could have garnered a little more affection.
For instance, Rockstar Miyavi has a short amount of screen time as one of the ‘bad guys’, but is already more intriguing and memorable, because his story is shown with adornments and style rather than flashbacks and spoon-fed plot-moving dialogue.
The flashbacks! That is how we get our main characters whole back story, and it takes the edge off what could be a genuinely teary ending.
You know how Kate will reach its conclusion - she’s going to die, that’s the point - and in its two-hour run time you get to know who she is in that moment, but not what lead her here, and though some tears threatened to breach it wasn’t quite there.
I wish it left more time to get to know her before the movie started, and not in the form of visual whiplash. But Kate probably isn’t trying to take you there, it’s an emotional cliché to take a breather from the stylised violence, bright lights and chasing; it’s the still moment before you start spinning again.
But for all its close misses Kate is entertaining. 'One against many’ fight sequences, bad CGI car chases and a ‘who’s the real bad guy?’ plot twist; what more can we ask for in a neon city action flick?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays the cool broodish killer with a hidden bleeding heart very well.
Her filmography is filled with thrillers, horrors, and edgy hero movies, so she is an action star in the making that’s currently going under the radar, for some unknown reason. But she takes the opportunity that comes with this role and runs with it.
If you are going to see this movie, see it for her, she’s doing a lot of the heavy lifting, but this hopefully could be the launch pad that takes Mary all the way from ‘final girl’ to John Wick status.
Kate is available to watch now, exclusively on Netflix.
Words by Josie Wade for Female First.
Tagged in Netflix