Straight out of playing The Huntress in Birds Of Prey, Mary Elizabeth Winstead is back to kick ass and take names in Netflix’s new action feature Kate. The first trailer for the film features Winstead as a determined assassin on a final mission for revenge as the clock runs out.
After blowing an assignment, assassin Kate falls into the hands of the Yakuza organization. Waking up only to discover she’s been poisoned, the ruthless criminal operative has less than 24 hours to exact revenge on her enemies. In the process, she forms an unexpected bond with the fearless daughter of one of her past victims. Woody Harrelson appears as Kate’s confidant and support system, with Tadanobu Asano, Miyavi, Michiel Huisman, Miku Martineau, and Jun Kunimura also starring in the revenge quest.
Channeling John Wick with the fight scenes, adding a Crank-esque storyline, and with Winstead evoking the demeanor of Ripley in Alien, Netflix offers a potentially knockout action movie. Director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan applauds Winstead’s “visceral and extremely raw aspect” action performances, as she did all her own stunts.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Nicolas-Troyan describes the action film as his “love letter” to Japan. Though it feels a little incongruous to have a white woman lead this “love letter” by wailing on Japanese people for the majority of the film, Nicolas-Troyan says that highlighting many cherished aspects of Japanese culture was extremely important to him.
“The movie is stuffed with Japanese cultural references: the Lawson convenience stores, the vending machines, the pop culture (with the classic Galactic Wars TV show largely inspired by Star Wars), the anime manga culture (with Tokyo Ghoul) and the music,” he explains. “All the needle drops in the film are there to celebrate Japanese female artists of all genres: metal, pop, ballad, hip-hop, and just plain weird.”
Kate premieres on Netflix on September 10.