September 14, 2006

DVD Review: La Femme Nikita - The Complete Fourth Season

La Femme Nikita has had quite a career. The characters began life as a film from the early 1990s, helmed by action autuer Luc Besson. It was an excellent film from France that concerned a super secret spy organization that takes a convicted murderer and transforms her into their top operative. A few years later, in true Hollywood fashion, the film was remade in America as Point of No Return, with Bridget Fonda taking on the lead role. A few years after that, in 1997, the characters saw a new life in a television series, using the same title as the original film, with newcomer Peta Wilson in the lead. The series ran for five years before being cancelled.

I only watched the show sporadically during its original run. Due to the serialized nature of the series, I was never able to really get into it, due to my irregular viewing. It was very similar to what happened with my viewing of Babylon 5. Now, on DVD, I decided to pick up season four. I would have to say that this was probably a miscalculation on my part.

The season starts with Nikita having undergone some sort of brainwashing, or mind control, or something, that pretty much makes her a blank slate, an emotionless zombie, if you will. This leads her partner/lover/mullet bearer, Michael to attempt to secure her mind repair. His actions get section on his tail, before he finds someone that allows him to blackmail Section to save Nikita and get himself reinstated with the organization. This is followed by a number of episodes with emotionless Michael talking to emotionless Nikita while going on missions that could get them killed. Nikita gets married to a target, then helps him escape. There is a lot of nonsense with the head guys in Section moving the players around the board, while everyone is trying to figure out who the bad guy is. Blah, blah, blah.

I just could not get into it. There is some interesting stuff here, and it is obviously the precursor to shows like 24 and Alias. The biggest problem here is that everything is taken so dead seriously. There is no fun here. There is no emotion from anyone, it is all just so bland.

Perhaps the prior seasons were better, maybe I should have started with them. This dislike for the series can possibly be laid at my own feet, with poor selection of where to start. I like to place it at the feet of the show's creative staff. It has always been my opinion that a newcomer should be able to come in at the start of any season and be able to get a handle on it. I expect a learning curve when coming in so late, but I was never able to get a hold of everything going on here.

Audio/Video. The transfer is OK, nothing to write home about. The colors are a little washed out. It doesn't seem that much effort was put into transferring the release.
Extras. Not much to speak of. There are commentaries on two episodes, some deleted scenes, and a gag reel. Like I said, not much.

Bottomline. Didn't do much for me, it was way too bland and dry. Everything is so super-serious that the entertainment just gets sucked right out of it.

Not Recommended.
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