Netflix has released the first trailer for Kate, an original action movie starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who simultaneously channels both John Wick and Ellen Ripley in Aliens as she murders a load of dudes. You can stream it on September 10.
The movie’s premise is simple but promising: Kate (Winstead) is a talented assassin at her very peak, until she’s poisoned after a botched attempt to execute a yakuza figure – with 24 hours left to live and her body breaking down fast, she sets out on a revenge mission against those who wronged her.
Here’s the trailer:
What this adds up to is a very John Wick-looking romp, with contrived pink lighting and fun-looking violence. Also in the mix is a young girl, the daughter of a previous target killed by Kate, who she bonds with – it’s Winstead’s look that superficially recalls Sigourney Weaver in Aliens, with clear creative choices in terms of her green outfit and shorter hair.
Woody Harrelson, meanwhile, is fulfilling that Netflix action movie staple of having a well-known veteran turn up in what looks like a small supporting role (see also: David Harbour in Extraction, Chiwetel Ejiofor in The Old Guard). Tadanobu Asano and Jun Kunimura also feature in Kate.
Collectively, this adds up to something we could see ourselves watching after eating a pizza on a sleepy Friday night – which is the sweet spot for Netflix’s original movies.
Director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan only has previous feature film directorial credit – The Huntsman: Winter’s War, which stands at a mighty 19% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes
Still, we choose to remain optimistic. Winstead’s last action-heavy performance was in the fun Birds of Prey as Huntress.
Analysis: action movies mean a lot to Netflix
Six of Netflix’s top movies ever are action movies – so the genre is incredibly important to the streamer.
Extraction reigns at number one with 99 million viewers tuning in for its first four weeks of availability, but Spenser Confidential (85 million), 6 Underground (83 million), The Old Guard (78 million), Project Power (75 million) and Army of the Dead (74 million) all have action credentials, too.
Why are viewers checking these movies out in droves? Our guess is that it’s a combination of big stars and the impulse-friendly nature of streaming an action movie on Netflix. On the scale of Netflix’s originals, they’re the easiest films to watch, so it’s no big surprise to see so many of them do well – even when they don’t all land great reviews. They’re a little easier to digest on a weekend than something like The Irishman or Marriage Story, for example.
Soon we’ll see if Kate will join their ranks.