Kitty The Killer Review

Kitty The Killer is a new revenge-action flick, in the same vein as the John Wick movies, from the Far East.

I’m… kind of John Wick’ed out these days from action movies that have taken the success of Keanu Reeves’ franchise to the core of their heart, but I really enjoyed the trailer, so I definitely wanted to give this one a go. It looked a bit more gimmicky and creative than just the usual Wickian formula that we usually get in these ubiquitous revenge-action pictures. I figured there must be some heart and imagination to this Kitty, so I dove in.

The story centers around a group of young women (and in some cases, straight-up young girl) assassins that all go by the code name Kitty. They also hall have identities with rhyming names. Dina is the central Kitty of the movie, but her compatriots include Mina, Tina, and Rina. Their adversary is another Kitty, the most dangerous of them all, and her name in Nina The Faceless.

After Dina’s Guardian (the title of her handler and bodyguard) betrays the agency for which he and the Kitties work, they all find themselves on the run from their former employer. He has taken a rare stone from a job Dina was on and kept it despite his bosses’ wishes. While fighting off assassins, the Guardian, Keng, bumps into a down-on-his-luck office worker named Charlie. And this fateful meeting determines Dina’s and the rest of the Kitties’ fates.

Kitty The Killer is a bright, colorful action flick that doesn’t get too bogged down in grays and blues. It doesn’t shy away from the more vibrant aspect of filmmaking, and in Charlie, we get a protagonist who is more than the dour vengeance-seeker that we usually see.

TWO UPS AND TWO DOWNS

+Aspects of Kitty The Killer are very stylized and a lot of fun to see. There are times when this movie reminds you of something akin to Scott Pilgrim Vs The World crossed with Kill Bill Volume 1.

We see on-screen effects for phones ringing. There are flourishes for swords being drawn. Moments of the movie are suddenly animated and those moments are interspersed with live action fights. It’s all very creative and fun. It made the movie feel like there was more of a soul to it than just being another typical John Wick revenge clone.

And this would be a bigger Up if not for what I’m going to mark as the movie’s first Down in a bit here…

+A lot of John Wickian action films don’t have a lot of joy, for lack of a better term. They can be loads of fun and have truly spectacular action, sure, but they might forget to make you laugh. That’s not the case here, as Kitty The Killer gives us the Charlie character, and he’s a real stand-out in the film.

It’s hard to know what to compare him to. Imagine if John Wick had a sidekick who was a clown, I guess. Charlie becomes a valued asset to Dina and the Kitties, but he never loses his charm and silliness. It allows the movie to sneak ever-so-slightly into action-comedy genre territory, and that’s a welcome treat.

-I mentioned that this Down was going to tie into the first Up, and it’s a truly unfortunate Down to have to give. I loved the little animated flourishes the film gives early on to enhance the action you see and the sounds you hear, except…

Those all vanish relatively quickly, and by the time we get to the back half of Kitty The KIller, they are gone entirely. It feels like either the creators forgot to keep inserting them, or that they were afraid to overdo it, so they abandoned the idea entirely.

If it’s the latter, that’s the shame because I don’t think they came remotely close to “overdoing” the effects. They were a welcome addition by me, and I’d love to have seen them carry on throughout.

-The story starts off a bit convoluted, as it throws several ideas and characters at you right at the jump, and it just expects you to stay afloat. It feels a bit like you are walking into a sequel where you are supposed to know who these two agencies are and what their missions entail. Are they partners? Rivals? Even by the end, I was relatively confused still, even as I did catch up and the film narrowed its scope.

But there are a bunch of characters early on, a few of whom feel important but then fade out of the flick, so they seemed to be a bit of a time waster. Like I said… after the first act, Kitty The Killer becomes more focused, but it can be hard to stay on top of everything for the first half hour or so.

OVERALL

This was a pleasant little treat of an action-comedy take on the revenge-action genre we get so frequently these days. The action is good, too, if not great; I always think these movies should treat us to at least one extended, uncut action take, but we don’t get that here. Still the last confrontation with Charlie and Dina against Nina is very exciting, so there’s that. Also, I can’t stress enough how much I wish the movie had kept up its stylization that it utilized early on but then lost. A good movie, sure, but it had several missed opportunities.

★★★ out of 5

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