5 October 2000 | sychonic
Dark, violent, cool
It seems that one genre of film has rarely been successfully translated to tv: The spy film. Can't think of one off the top of my head--except the cartoons like Lancelot Link and Danger Mouse. I suppose in the sixties--Man From Uncle, Mission Impossible.
But here comes La Femme Nikita, a very stylish show, no question, with a certain ruthlessness about it that seems cold and dangerous. Everyone in it seems to adequately convey the sense of dangling over a precipice, waiting for the stark harsh powers to send them to their doom. But until then, they combat various and sundry international terrorists.
While the acting never really rises above adequate--the dialogue really doesn't allow it, the characterizations themselves are rather enjoyable. Megalomaniac Operations, icy Madelaine, zombie like Michael, etc. There's a certain menace that hangs in the air, as if even humanistic Nikita wouldn't hesitate to put a bullet in you were the situation to require it.
I'm not suprised this show draws a devoted following--probably some who put it in the same late nineties genre of women wandering around beating the hell out big bad men (see VIP, Xena, Buffy, etc) But it's rather a bit more than that, the plots are routinely more complex than most spy movies--the last few James Bond movies in particular, maybe they could donate a few writers to the cause in bringing some life in that series.
The endless maneuvering for advantage, the incredible withering amorality, the sudden violence ... and don't forget the clothes, all give this a pretty slick, sexy feel to it. Like a very shiny, glistening new gun--lethal, but undeniably attractive.