E18 | FILM - KATE
Kate is a 2021 American action thriller film directed by Cedric Nicolas-Troyan and written by Umair Aleem. The film stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Miku Martineau, Woody Harrelson, Michiel Huisman, Tadanobu Asano, Miyavi, and Jun Kunimura. It is about Kate, an assassin (Winstead), whose mentor and handler Varrick (Harrelson) instructs her to kill a Japanese crime syndicate boss. During Kate's final mission, she finds out that she has been poisoned and only has 24 hours to live, so she uses her last hours to get revenge and find out who set her up. It was released on September 10, 2021, by Netflix.
Kate is an assassin who uses her skills as a sniper to kill targets selected by her trusted mentor and handler, Varrick. After she was left orphaned as a child, Varrick raised her, playing both a father figure role and giving her extensive training in weapons and combat.
As the film opens, Kate is in Osaka on an assignment to kill a member of a crime syndicate, readying herself with her rifle in an overwatch position. The syndicate member steps out of his car and presents as a target, but Kate resists taking the shot because a child has unexpectedly accompanied him. She ultimately shoots the target at Varrick's insistence. While Kate's assignment is a success, this breach of her ethics and of the agreement she had with Varrick that they would not kill targets in the presence of children leaves her in emotional turmoil. She tells Varrick that she will do one final mission before retiring from her work for him as an assassin.
Before the final mission, Kate meets a charismatic stranger at her hotel's bar. The pair share a bottle of wine and have sex in her room. Later, when she is in position for her next sniping mission, she starts getting symptoms of dizziness that make her miss the shot. Kate realizes that the stranger at the hotel poisoned her, and is told by doctors that she has acute radiation poisoning and only twenty-four hours to live. She steals injectable stimulant drugs and sets out to exact revenge on whoever is behind the poisoning.
As Kate sets about finding answers, she starts with tracking down the stranger from the hotel encounter. He turns out to have been a pawn in a larger game, forced into doing the poisoning by a local crime boss. As Kate goes to various syndicate hangouts to threaten gang members and get more answers, she battles heavily armed henchmen while also dealing with the symptoms of her poisoning. As Kate tries to get information about the reclusive, well-guarded crime boss Kijima, who she thinks might be behind the poisoning, she kidnaps Ani, Kijima’s niece. Kate realizes that Ani is the girl who had to see her father killed during the Osaka mission.
While Kate initially only wants to use Ani as bait to lure Kijima out into the open, she decides to become her protector upon learning that Ani’s family wants to kill her as part of an internal power struggle, led by Kijima’s top advisor, Renji.
Kate uncovers more clues about the Osaka mission and realizes that her trust in Varrick may be misplaced, as it appears that he may not have wanted to allow her to retire, given all the inside knowledge she has of his covert operations.
At the film's climax, Varrick is holding Ani at gunpoint. Kate overcomes Varrick's security detail and has a shootout with her mentor. After Kate seriously wounds Varrick, Kate and Ani leave him, and shortly afterwards, Kate dies from radiation poisoning.
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