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Kate (15, 116 minutes)
As cinema has a dead week in anticipation of the long awaited new Bond film on September 30, Mary Elizabeth (Mc)Winstead gets battered and bruised in this shoot ’em up, knock ’em down Netflix adventure which only needs a yellow track suit to warrant being called Kill Kate.
A hired assassin, trained from childhood by her handler, Varrick (Woody Harrelson), is at the top of her game and ready to quit for a normal life until what she intends to be one last hit on a Japanese crime boss in Osaka goes awry.
Soon after, following a one night stand, Kate finds that she has been poisoned with a radioactive isotope and has just 24 hours left to extract a John Wick-style revenge with the assistance of the teenage niece of her target.
Winstead certainly puts in a shift with a litany of all-out fight scenes heavy on the ouch factor as she racks up the body count on her way towards Yakuza chief Kijima, but this is ultimately a two dimensional story with two dimensional characters.
The action is well choreographed with the lightning fast moves stolen from 70s martial arts movies that the rest of the industry took almost 30 years to fully catch up on, but there’s little else on offer with no real demands on the actors to actually act beyond the physical requirements.
Even with a plot twist that I guarantee you will twig within the first 10 minutes, this is an entertaining enough piece of fun, but it could have benefited from some depth.