It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
Here is a version of the "Pygmalion" legend for our own violent times - the story of a young woman who is transformed from a killer in the streets to a government assassin.
"La Femme Nikita" is a smart, hard-edged, psycho-romantic thriller by the young French director Luc Besson ("Subway"), who follows a condemned woman as she exchanges one doom for another.
The woman is played by Anne Parillaud, who projects a feral hostility in the opening scenes, as she joins a crowd of drug-addled friends in holding up a drugstore. Cornered by the police, she takes advantage of a cop's momentary lapse of attention to grab his gun and shoot him point-blank in the face.
She has no hope of escape; she is simply so anti-social and strung-out that she doesn't care if she kills or dies.