Anyone who is a film buff has come across the term “femme fatale” which is a French term that’s translated to “fatal woman.” Films over the years have made these characters into beautiful, but dangerous, women. These characters are the ones you love to hate. The JPFmovies staff has looked into some femme fatale entertainment and decided to review the La Femme Nikita franchise. First there was the film starring Bridget Fonda, Gabriel Byrne, Harvey Keitel, Anne Bancroft and Olivia d’Abo in Point of No Return (1992). All fine performers and all quite young in this film. Bridget Fonda is literally a child, Keitel and Byrne look like they are in their late 20’s. The JPFmovies staff was particularly excited to watch a film with Bridget Fonda in it—you don’t see her in too many films.
Our femme fatale, Maggie Hayward (Bridget Fonda), is a violent and unstable drug addict found guilty of murdering a police officer, and is sentenced to death by lethal injection. A secret government organization fakes her death because they need to have a young female operative in the field. Agent Bob (Gabriel Byrne) is charged with transforming her from this renegade youth into a sophisticated assassin. She is given a makeover by senior Operative Amanda (Anne Bancroft) and training that turns her into not only a beautiful woman, but also a trained killer. The pressure is on though as she is only given 6 months reach operative level efficiency otherwise, she will literally get a bullet in the brain.
She passes her final test: an assassination of a VIP eating at a restaurant. Maggie kills the VIP and his bodyguard and then is pursued by a team of the VIP’s bodyguards and then escapes by jumping down a laundry chute. Maggie is relocated to California and finds her first relationship with J.P. (Dermot Mulroney). She promptly performs her first two assignments, both hit jobs, but she begins to hate her work. Naturally she wants out but the agency has other ideas. She is told that if she can pull off one last job Bob will try to get her out of the agency.
Maggie and her partner have trouble with this job and it goes sideways. In a early version of The Wolf from Pulp Fiction, Victor, a “cleaner” (Harvey Keitel) is called salvage the mission. Unknown to Maggie, he has also been ordered to kill both agents as well because one failure results in death. After killing the wounded Beth in front of Maggie, he drives her to Fahd’s home she gets what she needs to. The cleaner is supposed to kill her as well but she is crafty enough to turn the tables and gets away. Bob (her handler) takes pity on her and falsely tells his boss that Maggie is dead setting her free. The last scene is Maggie walking away in the pouring rain as she starts anew.
The JPFmovies staff is a big fan of Ms. Fonda and excited to see this film. Seeing the early version of Keitel as Mr. Wolf as the “cleaner” is frankly hilarious. Byrne, who also made a great 1990’s film The Usual Suspects, looks like he is in grade school in this movie. Yeah kinda cliché but all in all not bad if you look at this film as the start of successful franchise depicting secret government organizations transforming young, beautiful, blonde trouble making girls into deadly women.
The moral of the story is never trust a blonde with a gun.