French director Luc Besson (The Fifth Element) broke the commercial taboo against female-driven action movies with this seminal, seductively slick film about a violent street punk (Anne Parillaud) trained to become a smooth, stylish assassin. Though it amounts, in the end, to little more than disposable pop, the film has a cohesiveness in style and tone--akin to the early James Bond films--that gives it a sense of integrity. Parillaud is compelling both as a wild child and chic-but-lethal pro (trained in good manners by none other than Jeanne Moreau). Tchéky Karyo is also good as the cop mentor who develops feelings for her. --Tom Keogh
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