Sep 14, 2010

Does Nikita aim true?

Hollywood loves a good remake. In this case, a remake three times over. The CW premiered the latest sexy spy offering, Nikita, last week. Does it meet with The Nerdy Bird's "girls who kick ass and look good doing it" seal of approval? The short answer would be, yes. The long answer is as follows.

Back in January it was announced this remake/reboot would be happening and while I don't like them as a general rule, I have a soft spot in my heart for "Nikita" the character so I was willing to give it a shot. Director Luc Besson first brought us the story of the addict/murderer turned assassin in the 1990 French film Nikita. It was then Americanized in a film starring Bridget Fonda called Point of No Return and finally made into a television series, La Femme Nikita, starring Peta Wilson.

All three follow the same basic premise; a young woman is charged with a crime, abducted by a covert agency and molded into an assassin against her will. In the new series, Nikita has already gone through these experiences and broken free from her captors. Three years later she's back to take revenge upon the organization that killed the man she loved simply because she loved him and free others like her still in the system.

Fans of the old TV series will find some comforts in the new show. Characters like Michael, now played by Shane West, Birkhoff, played by X2: X-Men United's Aaron Stanford and "The Cleaner" have remained intact. The agency this time around is referred to as "Division," the resident charm teacher is Amanda, played by Melinda Clarke while Xander Berkeley plays the head of Division, with the far less cool name of Percy. (I miss you Operations!)

Now as I mentioned, Nikita is not Division's toy at the start of the new series. That distinction goes to a slew of teenage recruits, one of whom is captured in the middle of a pharmacy robbery gone wrong. Her name is Alex and while she did take part in the robbery, she did not murder the man killed during it. Alex is being played by Lyndsy Fonseca whose previous credits include Desperate Housewives and Kick-Ass. Despite a throat cutting threat, so far Fonseca has failed to prove she has the same fire as previous "Nikita's."

Considering this show is called Nikita I supposed I should get around to talking about her, right? Nikita is played by the legs-as-far-as-the-eye-can-see Maggie Q. You probably know her best from Mission Impossible III or Live Free or Die Hard but she's been an action star for quite some time. If it wasn't for the fact that she was hand picked by Jackie Chan back in the day to be the next big Asian action hero I wouldn't believe she could pull off this role. After all, she's so slender I think even *I* could break her like a twig. Q still has some convincing to do in that respect but that's just her own genetics working against her.

Nikita is the only operative to have escaped Division and therefore they want her back. The first episode deals with her purposefully reemerging and letting them know she's coming for them. We see a few glimpses of her past with the agency but it seems that's all Nikita's got as well. She may be a super assassin but she's having some memory problems. Though not enough to keep her from kicking major ass.

Besides the twist of Nikita not being the new recruit this time around there are a few more twists and turns in the premiere that I won't spoil but that make things far more interesting. One thing that was lacking for me was the classic first mission scene where the main operative gets placed in a no-win situation and forced to fight their way out. I understand how it couldn't have worked in the first episode and that it might indeed show up in the future but it was something I certainly missed. I'll be watching a few more episodes of Nikita but I'm wondering if it will fly with the CW crowd or continue to hold interest for older viewers if it's catered solely to teens (there really are a lot of young, pretty cast members). I reserve the right to revert back to my high school years in order to keep watching. :)

5 comments:

Louis Porter Jr. said...

Lots of pretty people, but no one actually doing any thinking. I am sure this show will go on for seasons but the writing has to get better. The guys who did USA's La Femme Nikita went of to do 24. I don't see the creators of this one going off to do great work after this.

Budd said...

maggie q is alright, but I am not sure why people make a big deal out of her.
I probably won't be watching as I just don't need another show to watch. if it is good, there is always DVD.

Johnny Marvéll said...

Hey cutie, it's Johnny (Apocalypse2001 on twitter). Well those in North America who think Maggie Q isn't a big deal need to do more research. She's probably the one oriental actor who has higher status than the biggest stars in Hollywood. She's a star in Asia!!
As for the new show: I still prefer the one with Peta Wilson, but I WILL watch the new one when it's available (I'm in Greece).
I love Maggie Q and all her work. So I will watch everyhing she will do on the show with an unbiased mind. We'll how I like it....

Johnny Marvéll said...

Also I can't believe nobody has noticed that, the first photo that you have in your preliminary review, is basically a rip-off of Psylocke's costume.

The Nerdy Bird said...

Funny you should mention that Johnny. While I was looking for the picture I came across this: http://www.zombietoenails.com/2010/08/maggie-q-should-be-psylocke-not-nakita.html