Film / Nikita
aka: Point Of No Return

Bob: 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.

Nikita 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.
  • Anti-Climax: During Nikita's first mission, she's instructed to pose as a maid. Her entire job is delivering room service to the target given to her by a group of imposing agents (and one very nervous hotel manager)... and that's it. After she's done her small job, she goes home. Then a bomb the imposing agents planted in the stuff she delivered blows up the target.
  • 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.
  • Book on the Head: Part of the way the organization teaches Nikita to be a classy lady.
  • 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.

Alternative Title(s): Point Of No Return