You died Saturday at 5:00 p.m. The prison doctor confirmed suicide after an overdose of tranquillizers. You're buried in Maisons-Alfort, row 8, plot 30. ...I work, let's say, for the government. We've decided to give you another chance. Nikita:
What do I do? Bob:
Learn. Learn to read, walk, talk, smile and even fight. Learn to do everything. Nikita:
What for? Bob:
To serve your country. Nikita:
What if I don't want to? Bob: Row 8, Plot 30.
is a 1990 French film by Luc Besson
(director of The Fifth Element
). Released in America as La Femme Nikita
(just so everyone would understand it is in French).
Nikita (Anne Parillaud) is a young junkie who (along with her friends) holds up a pharmacy and ends up killing a police officer. She's arrested and sentenced to life in prison without parole, but is then given a choice of a new secret life. A life working for a shadowy government agency. She will be taught how to kill, how to be a lady, how to be a spy, all in the service of her country.
Remade in Hong Kong as Black Cat
(1991) and in America as Point of No Return
(1993) with Bridget Fonda in the Nikita role. There have been two television adaptations so far: La Femme Nikita
with Peta Wilson and Nikita
with Maggie Q.
Nikita provides examples of the following tropes:
- Action Girl: Deconstructed. She is nowhere near as badass as she became in adaptations.
- Ax-Crazy: Victor the Cleaner. His idea of salvaging an operation gone wrong is simply to shoot as many people as possible. And he only gets worse when he suffers a Villainous Breakdown.
- Bathroom Breakout
- The Bechdel Test: During their interactions, Nikita and Amande usually don't talk about men.
- Bittersweet Ending
- Boxed Crook: Everyone who works for Division basically.
- Cold Sniper: In one memorable scene, Nikita has a conversation with her boyfriend and then carefully snipes a target from within the bathroom of their hotel suite.
- Contract on the Hitman
- Determinator: Victor the Cleaner. He doesn't give up, period. Which gets him killed.
- The Dog Shot First: If you just know the TV show, then you'll think Nikita was wrongly framed for murder. In the movie, she isn't.
- Femme Fatale
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Victor the Cleaner
- Guns Do Not Work That Way: A bodyguard in the Kitchen Chase drops a rifle grenade down the muzzle of a breech-loading M203 grenade launcher.
- Impaled Palm: Nikita does this to a policeman early in the film.
- Pistol Pose: One of the posters.
- Police Brutality: Granted, she did kill one of their officers, so they're going to take it personally.
- Professional Killer
- Sink-or-Swim Mentor: To celebrate the successful completion of her training, Nikita's handler takes her to a fancy restaurant where she's suddenly given a Desert Eagle and her first assignment, to kill a man eating at another table. She's told the escape route is through the bathroom window, but it turns out to be bricked up, testing her ability to Indy Ploy.
- Spiritual Successor: The character of Victor the Cleaner has a spiritual successor in the later Luc Besson movie The Professional (although Leon is more sympathetic).
- The Un-Smile: When Nikita is told to smile.
- Woman in Black: Nikita herself. A straight example and a subversion at the same time.