French director Luc Besson broke the commercial taboo against female-driven action movies with Nikita, his seminal, seductively slick film about a violent street punk (Anne Parillaud) trained to become a smooth, stylish assassin. Though it amounts, in the end, to little more than disposable pop, the film has a cohesiveness in style and tone--akin to the early James Bond films--that gives it a sense of integrity. Parillaud is compelling both as a wild child and chic-but-lethal pro (trained in good manners by none other than Jeanne Moreau). Tch? Karyo is also good as the cop mentor who develops feelings for her. --Tom Keogh
A beautiful junkie condemned to death for the murder of a policeman is given a chance to live - as a secret political assassin controlled by the government. Her lonely existence is warmed when she falls in love with a gentle, humorous man who knows nothing of her bizarre and mysterious life. Remade in the U.S. as POINT OF NO RETURN and in Hong Kong as BLACK CAT. It was also the basis for the popular US cable television series.