Qt3 Movie Club #45 - La Femme Nikita (1990)

I was about to post something less known but I didn’t feel like re-watching it, La Femme Nikita on the other hand…I haven’t seen in like 10+ years so it’s way over due! I hope it still holds up.

It’s on Netflix instant stream here:

There’s subtitles and it’s in French so that may rule out some people. GOOD!

Remember to type WATCHED IT to get Qt3 Movie Club credit (or whatever).

Ohh, holy shit. Good pick. You’ve picked a Luc Besson movie that I’ve always wanted to see but for some reason or another I never have. Nice!

I’ve come so close to watching this so many times. Once, I was actually sitting down to watch it but my inlaws came in and they are the kind of people who don’t actually watch a movie when it’s on, but would rather sit in the room and chat to each other with the movie as background noise, god bless 'em. I love them, but I can’t watch a movie in a setting like that!

I really loved this movie when I first watched it. There’s an American re-make called Point of No Return and even a Hong Kong one called Black Cat that doesn’t even come close. Plus Jean Reno prior to his Leon role really makes it work.

I really loved this movie when I first watched it. There’s an American re-make called Point of No Return and even a Hong Kong one called Black Cat that doesn’t even come close. Plus Jean Reno prior to his Leon role really makes it work.


I always wanted to watch this because of Luc Besson. It certainly didn’t disappoint.

Towards the end it is… hilarious, for a supposed spy/secret agent film. When the mission went sideways, the body double threw up a mega tantrum, at which I can’t stop laughing. When Jean Reno went Rambo on an espionage mission, that just doubled the fun.

Wait, am I supposed to laugh like that? Or is there some kind of nihilistic commentary on the urban French youth/human condition I missed?


The opening scenes turn into a gun battle is awesome.

The walk back from the restaurant and past the security guards who she expects to stop her and her reaction to them is excellent.

Great film. Very innovative at its time.

I love all the scenes with Jeanne Moreau.


Ambivalence. The 2nd half felt light and hurried The passage of time (three years here, six months there) felt unconvincing. After 3 yrs of training she seemed to have gained too little finesse and lost much of her toughness. Likewise the romantic relationship did not seem to have progressed. Engaged to a woman with no past?
The ending felt abrupt though that may be a good thing. But it was also incroyable. She would never have believed that she could just walk away. And the boyfriend was a loose end whose existence would be intolerable-she must have known this , too. The lightness of tone undermines the inherent darkness of the genre and the first half of the movie. Maybe this blending of absurdity with grit is the desired tone.

The subtitles were painfully inaccurate.

The title of this thead inspired me to restart my Netflix streaming account which has been dormant for the last few weeks/months. I’ve always wanted to see this movie and think I’ll watch it later tonight.


I watched this last night (as evidenced by my WATCHED IT note above, wtf is that about, I’m just following the herd) and have mixed feelings.

I may have had outsized expectations for this, but I felt a little bored through the first reel and almost gave up during the training part. Thankfully things started moving right after she cozied up to the old gal in training. I didn’t really fall in love with anything in the movie until Victor showed up. The acid “bath” was and subsequent melt down of the body double was genius! An amazing way to do so much with the Victor and the flagging story, especially without using CGI or any sort of camera shenanigans. I liked the ending and didn’t see it coming, but thought that it felt quite right for the Nikita character and also offered a satisfying closure of the triangle.


I forgot how long the training portion was but it’s character development/passage of time to turn Nikita from common street tough psychopathic bitch to sexy pacifiable assassin. A lot of training was simply implied like the computer stuff. I also liked the wise old hag which I had completely forgotten about.

I enjoyed the little assassin vignettes wedged in the middle of the romance story, but it isn’t until the final job goes south and they send in Viktor the cleaner to see it done where things get interesting. The acid path, the body count, getting lit up with an AK then driving a car through a brick wall nonchalant. The latter being questionable but the plot demands it. Nikita after being free simply tries to live a normal life but in the end it cannot be. Still enjoyed it but probably not as much as the first viewing.

rfrog, something about your post reminded me of the pencil trick at the beginning. I thought that was a uniquely Joker shenanigan, but here is Nikita performing it much earlier.

What a strange character arc, starting off as a raving psychopath and moving toward sensitive human being. At her mock execution, I felt very little for her despite her tears, calls for her mother, but by the end of the movie I had turned around, even rooting for her. How did that happen? Could it have been the interminable training scene?

anyone home?


Ahhh, nice catch. I don’t recall the details of the Joker scene but it’s the same trick? Now I’m trying to think of similar scenes from other movies but I can’t think of any at the moment.