Kate Parent Guide
The plot twist is predictable but the movie's action sequences are riveting, so that's some compensation.
Parent Movie Review
Kate (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) has been trained since childhood to be one of the most effective and dangerous assassins in the world. Now working in Japan, she’s become involved with the Yakuza (Japanese organized crime). Under orders from her trainer, Varrick (Woody Harrelson), Kate takes out a leading figure in one of the more notorious Japanese gangs. In retaliation, she’s poisoned with a rare isotope of polonium. With only 24 hours left to live, Kate plots her revenge, but there’s one little problem: She still doesn’t know who’s responsible. And the only person who might know is Ani (Miku Martineau), the daughter of her last target. The clock is ticking…
As a certifiable film snob, I do sometimes get caught up in the minutiae of a film – an inability to see the forest for the trees. This is one of those fun action flicks that focuses so little on the trees, you don’t have a choice but to enjoy the forest. Believe it or not, that’s a good thing. If I’m here for big dumb action fun, directors really don’t need to spend all that much time explaining character backstories to me. Just start shooting.
That’s not to say Kate is perfect, of course. If you’re a stickler for dialogue, this has some truly lazy lines, and Ani can be more than a little irritating. There’s also the unfortunate fact that I could predict the “twist” ending about 7 minutes into the film – never a good sign. It makes it nearly impossible to maintain any kind of tension. But since we all know the protagonist is going to be dead by the end of the movie anyway, that doesn’t matter as much as usual. It just frees you up to enjoy the high-speed action choreography.
The action is easily the highlight of the film. Mary Elizabeth Winstead brings a kind of confidence and screen presence that I don’t recall seeing since Sigourney Weaver, and it’s wonderful to watch. Ignoring repeated grisly injuries (and the ongoing effects of severe radiation sickness), Kate kicks a disproportionate amount of Yakuza backside all around the neon-lit streets. It’s hard not to have fun with that.
As with most action thrillers, the major issue here is violence. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody killed with defibrillator paddles to the head before. There’s also the usual deluge of shootings and stabbings, moreso here because of the apparent tendency of Japanese gangsters to carry large knives. Apart from the gore, there’s one very brief sex scene and a healthy smattering of profanity. This isn’t rated “R” for nothing, folks. But that doesn’t mean adult genre fans can’t have a good time – just don’t try any of this at home.Directed by Cedric Nicolas-Tyson. Starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Miku Martineau, and Woody Harrelson. Running time: 106 minutes. Theatrical release September 10, 2021. Updated September 9, 2021
Watch the trailer for Kate
Rating & Content Info
Why is Kate rated R? Kate is rated R by the MPAA for strong bloody violence and language throughout.
Violence: People are frequently shot, stabbed, beaten, and cut. Notable incidents include people being poisoned with polonium, killed with defibrillator paddles being applied to the head, and one decapitation.
Sexual Content: There is one brief sex scene which contains neither graphic detail nor nudity.
Profanity: There are 31 sexual expletives and 14 scatological terms, along with occasional uses of mild profanities and terms of deity, both in English and Japanese.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are seen drinking socially. The protagonist is seen taking powerful prescription drugs to counteract poisoning.
Page last updated September 9, 2021
Kate Parents' Guide
What is polonium? How has it been used in the real world? What have the consequences of its use been? What kind of risks does it pose to others?
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There have been a lot of female assassin movies lately, including The Protégé, Gunpowder Milkshake, Atomic Blonde, Pixie, Anna, Birds of Prey, Vanquish, and The Rhythm Section. Other assassin thrillers include John Wick(and of course, John Wick Chapter Two and John Wick Chapter Three: Parabellum), The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, The Virtuoso, and The Equalizer.