The Reel Review
Kate is a Tokyo-based assassin who, poisoned on her final mission, has 24 hours to get vengeance on her killer before she dies. The ruthless killer ends up in an unlikely alliance with the teenage daughter of a prior victim, in this Netflix action/thriller.
On the heels of her kickass performance as The Huntress in 2020’s Birds of Prey, Mary Elizabeth Winstead (10 Cloverfield Lane, The Thing) headlines this uninspired, pedestrian Netflix ripoff of 1988’s Dennis Quaid/Meg Ryan thriller D.O.A., with a heavy dose of 2017’s German-based Atomic Blonde. Woody Harrelson phones it in as her handler with Jun Kunimura (Kill Bill: Vol. 1) as the Yakuza crime syndicate elder she is pursuing. Child star Miku Patricia Martineau (Finny the Shark) is horribly miscast as the potty-mouthed orphan she befriends.
The violent action/thriller’s big twist should be painfully obvious to anyone reading this review. Director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan (The Huntsman: Winter’s War, The Ring), however, does his best to inject enough style, slick Japanese nighttime visuals and creative kills to make this immediately forgettable story at least somewhat entertaining for viewers with a couple of hours to kill.
• Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Ewan McGregor have been partners since 2017, when they met on the set of the TV series Fargo. Their son Laurie was born in June 2021.
• The Japanese all-female rock band Band-Maid has a brief appearance in Kate.
• Japanese actor Jun Kunimura won Best Supporting Actor and the Popular Star Award at South Korea’s Blue Dragon Film Awards for his performance in the 2016 South Korea horror The Wailing.