Netflix’s Kate (2021) Review: Fun but Nothing New

Kate is a recently released English and Japanese movie that came out on Netflix this Friday, on 10th September. It features Mary Elizabeth Winstead in the lead along with Miku Martineau, Woody Harrelson, Michiel Huisman, and Jun Kunimura among other cast members. The film has a total run time of just over one hour and forty-five minutes and it is directed by Cedric Nicolas-Troyan.

Trailer for Kate

The film is an action thriller set in Tokyo, Japan. It follows Kate, a professional assassin at the peak of her career. However, she has finally had enough and wants to make a better life for herself, leaving her life of crime behind. No sooner is she on her last assignment, than she is poisoned with radioactive substances, giving her only one day before the radiation fully kills her. She tries to track down who’s behind this and discovers a surprising link with even more surprising allies.

Netflix describes it as:

Slipped a fatal poison on her final job, a ruthless assassin working in Tokyo has less than 24 hours to find out who ordered the hit and exact revenge.

Via the Netflix Official Site
A still from Kate (2021), featuring  Mary Elizabeth Winstead as the lead.
A still from Kate (2021), featuring Mary Elizabeth Winstead as the lead.

– This Kate review does not contain any spoilers –

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Kate is the kind of movie you watch with a hundred per cent attention. So full of subtleties that go a long way, it is the kind of film where you’ll blink and you would miss it. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is absolutely brilliant as the stern-faced assassin on the run, and so is Woody Harrelson, alternating between cruel and charismatic.

With films in this genre, cinematography becomes even more important, especially if there is a considerable focus on action scenes. Set in the beautiful city of Tokyo, Japan, the city becomes much more than an inanimate backdrop and this can easily be attributed to the skill with which the camera has been handled.

kate 2
A still from Kate featuring Mary Elizabeth Winstead in the lead along with Miku Martineau

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With that being said, Kate is definitely better with its technicals rather than its abstracts. The plotline seems rather redundant, employing almost all the cliches of its genre. That is not to say that it is not entertaining, because it is. But there isn’t anything sensational about it. Most of the film feels like a weird deja vu, especially if you like your thrillers fast-paced.

There also isn’t much in terms of gore. On a scale of one to Quentin Tarantino, I’d rank it a solid 5, no more, no less. The backdrop of Tokyo adds so much more colour to the film than you would expect it to have, and this makes the visuals so much more interesting. The action sequences are well-choreographed and supported by good, although simple, cinematography techniques to give us a seamless experience.

Final Verdict: Kate (2021)

Netflix Kate is the kind of film you should definitely give a watch if you are in the mood for action. It was especially fun to see a woman as the anti-hero, even as she wielded tremendous power and strength even as she slowly died of radiation poisoning. Good acting from the leads and the supporting cast members, some amazing action sequences, and a few twists you may not see coming make Kate a worthwhile watch, even if it isn’t the newest of its genre.

Kate is now streaming on Netflix.

Also Read: Mumbai Diaries 26/11 Review: An Intense tale of Valour and Humanity

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Overall Score


Kate is a decent watch because of good acting, amazing action sequences, and a few twists you may not see coming even if it isn't the newest of its genre.

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