Good news fellow Malaysians! We are now able to watch movies in the cinemas again! But before I rush my way there like a puppy who misses its owner, there is one Netflix movie that caught my attention and that is “Kate”. It stars Mary Winstead in an action role produced by 87North Productions which is the same production company that made the “John Wick” movies and the stellar “Nobody” which came out this year.
Mary Winstead plays Kate, an assassin who is ordered to take out a member of the yakuza on broad daylight in front of his daughter. To Kate, that is a breach of protocol because whatever she does to get to her target, her only rule is to not involve kids. She does it anyway before having a guilty conscience then wanting to quit the assassin gig. Her mentor Varrick (Woody Harrelson) promises one last score to settle before she can walk out free from it all but honestly, we all know assassins can never really get outta the game, right? Well, what do you know? She was poisoned during her last day prompting her to find out who was behind it all and why somebody wants her dead.
I always knew Winstead belonged in action. So, to put her front and centre in an 87North Productions movie is just a long time coming. She’s fierce, expressive, and can handle a fight scene really well as proven in this movie which was such a relief to see her in the right genre, finally. It isn’t a surprise anymore that 87North Productions delivers some of the most exciting action scenes in movies, and with Winstead’s dedication and prowess on screen, you can tell she went a 100% on her training. Though, there were a couple of times when it looked like she was pulling her punches a little bit.
While there is a definitive style in “Kate”, like the beautiful tracking shot into the traditional Japanese estate, its use of CGI to show it off was just horrendous. There is this car chase scene which I thought was the worst thing I’ve seen on screen. It’s so bad, I genuinely thought it was my computer acting up that somehow messed with the resolution of my screen. For 2021 standards, that should’ve not been a pass.
As much as I love seeing Winstead leading an action movie all by herself, I don’t think “Kate” will be the one to shoot her into action star status. While her part deserves praise, the movie was so generic and predictable that you can see the twist (if you can even call it that) coming a mile away. It falls into the category of movies you watch because nothing is on TV right now, or a movie you’d watch on a plane (if we ever get to fly once again). It is just that forgettable. Hopefully Winstead continues her action route because she really has lots of potential here. She only needs a good script, then she is good to go.