When we first meet Kate she’s in Japan. Her handler and mentor, played by Woody Harrelson, has arranged a hit of a high-level yakuza. She takes the shot, hits her target, leaving his young daughter Ani (Miku Patricia Martineau) in tears over his body.
Later, on another gig, just as she’s about to take a shot her eyes blur. Unable to aim, she misses, takes another shot and misses again. After a wild chase she lands in the hospital where she is told she’s been poisoned and has just twenty-four hours to live.
Her quest for vengeance leads her to an unlikely ally, Ani, the daughter of one of her victims.
“Kate” is a fast-paced riff on “D.O.A..” the seventy-year-old Edmond O’Brien movie about a victim who tries to figure out who poisoned him and why. French director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan amps up the action, staging everything from wild car chases through the streets of Tokyo to up-close-and-personal fight scenes, all focused on Kate’s ability to jump, punch, shoot and generally lay waste to all comers. Winstead, who proved her action bona fides as Huntress in “Birds of Prey,” brings the kick assery in fight scenes that are fleet-footed and plentiful.
Set against the background of the ticking clock, “Kate” delivers some high velocity action, even if the premise isn’t exactly new.