Ladies Kicking Butt: La Femme Nikita

So it begins…La Femme Nikita a.k.a. the French film which spawned the American adaptation, Point of No Return, and three television shows (Nikita, Alias, and La Femme Nikita). The film is dark and less action packed than you might think, but it’s really a must see if you want to see the film that inspired J. J. and Craig Silverstein to make their (sometimes) awesome TV series.

(Spoilers After the Break)

First and foremost, it is unsurprising that Le Femme Nikita includes the all important three: Nikita, Michael (Bob), and Danny (Marco).  It is surprising, however, that this Danny doesn’t die.  In fact, he and Bob share a little chit chat at the end of the film.  Really, I would love to see this talk in other adaptations.  (Imagine Nikita’s Michael and DeadDanny having a conversation.  Awkward.  It would be like Michael Vaughn and Julian Sark sitting down for tea.)  I did love the dynamic here.  It wasn’t really a love triangle since there wasn’t too much Bob/Nikki romance going on.  Bob did care for Nikki though and that, as always, made his relationship with her tricky.  I liked the moment after their kiss when he leaned against the wall and seemed about ready to have a mini break down.  Also, was it just me or did it seem like he was about to cry right before her first assassination assignment?  The actor was just wonderful.  He didn’t have a lot of lines or even a lot of screen time, but he really did draw you in.  (I actually was thinking about turning the movie off until Bob showed up.)  Marco was also likable.  He was kind and understanding and usually a bit heartbroken that Nikki wouldn’t share any of her life with him.  He didn’t play the same role in this film as in the series.  Like I said, he wasn’t killed, and he wasn’t even really a motivation for her to quit the business.  He was just the man who taught her how to be happy and that was enough.

Now, onto our main girl, Nikita.  She was more waifish than usual in the film but could definitely still pack a punch.  This film did not chronicle her transformation into a cold blooded killer.  It actually showed her becoming more human as her story progressed.  It was telling to see her breakdown during the Cleaner fiasco.  She might have taken lives, but she still had compassion enough not to want to be a part of so many unnecessary and bloody deaths.  Still, what I really liked was the fact that Luc Besson’s film is less exploitative than most Nikita adaptations.  There are some small outfits, but he doesn’t choose to linger on unnecessary close-ups of her thighs or chest.  He even avoids creeper shots when she is half dressed.  I liked that this Nikita was filmed about the same as a male spy flick would have been.  She’s not some sex object but rather a tough woman that you wouldn’t want to mess with.

This film was by no mean my favorite version of Nikita—mainly because I think you do need more than two hours to successfully tell this story.  All the same, it does make an excellent companion to any of the shows.  I liked seeing where all of the characters originated and comparing the styles and themes of the original with the adaptations.

(Originally Posted on


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