The success of Nikita spawned this American remake directed by John Badham several years later. A first-rate cast and crisp direction by action specialist Badham are noteworthy in a movie that, generally speaking, was a disappointment to fans of the original. Luc Besson, who wrote the Nikita screeplay, got co-writing credit for this one, too. (Retitled The Assassin in Australia.) Warner Bros., Rated R. The film grossed $30 million in the US. (Overseas numbers are not available.)
Richard Romanus.....Fahd Bahktiar
Harvey Keitel.....Victor (The Cleaner)
*Nikita's name was changed to Maggie, and her codename from Josephine to Nina in this film -- a decision made, it is said, because of the recent release of Little Nikita (1988), another spy flick.
Here's the review from Variety's Portable Movie Guide...
For those who saw Luc Besson's high-tech thriller Nikita, about a female criminal transformed into a government assassin, this soulless, efficiently slavish remake is almost like watching it all over again. But the premise remains a strong hook on which to peg a taut, straight-line action narrative. Sentenced to death for killing a cop in a robbery, a young drug-addicted punk (Bridget Fonda), here named Maggie, is given a chance to live, under the supervision of an agent named Bob (Gabriel Byrne.) Ending is a shade more upbeat and conventional than the French version. Fonda acquits herself admirably in all departments.
Here's the At-A-Glance review of the film...
Remaking the French film La Femme Nikita was a good idea. It had an intriguing premise and an engrossing but flawed plot -- perfect fodder for remakes. Unfortunately, Point of No Return does more damage than good. It does fix up the final act without Hollywoodizing it (a very noteworthy feat), and it adds a little polish to some of the pivotal scenes. However, the character of Maggie's (Nikita's) boyfriend is made more aggressive and wholly unlikeable -- effectively sabotaging the counterpoint between Maggie's new found life and her rigidly cold albatross of a profession. In addition, the violence is overstated, making it gratuitous instead of plot-serving, as it was in the original. Along that same line, having an explosion of a bomb Maggie planted occur on screen negates the scene's purpose. Thus, while Point of No Return improves upon La Femme Nikita in some respects, the sum total is less.
Born 27 January 1964 in Los Angeles to Peter Fonda and Susan Brewer, Bridget comes from an illustrious Hollywood family; her grandfather (deceased) was Henry Fonda, and her aunt is Jane Fonda. She was named after her father's stepsister, Bridget Hayward, who committed suicide. Educated at New York University, Bridget made her first film, Aria, at age 23 (1987), and went on to win critical acclaim as call girl Mandy Rice Davies in Scandal. She became a star with the release of Point of No Return. Other films include Single White Female, It Could Happen To You, City Hall, Jackie Brown, Touch, Rough Magic, and Luc Besson's Kiss of the Dragon. She had a long-term relationship with actor Eric Stoltz, but is currently seeing country singer Dwight Yoakam, her costar in the 2001 film South of Heaven, West of Hell.
''I have big dreams and little muscles,'' says Bridget Fonda, 29,
who reconciled her fantasies with her physique by playing a highly
trained government assassin in Point of No Return, the new American
remake of the 1990 French film La Femme Nikita. The role required her
to learn karate, jump down flights of stairs and fire big weapons.
''Until I learned how to fight and was actually beating on a bag, I'd
never hit anything. There were skirmishes with my younger brother
((Justin)), a lot of pushing and pinching, but I never really hit
him. After a lifetime's training to deny those feelings, suddenly
being told not only is it okay but that you're actually pleasing
someone was a great experience.'' Now that the movie's out, does
Fonda plan to stay in fighting shape? Nope. ''When I have time off,''
she says, ''I like to sit down and fall asleep.''
-- People Magazine (5 April 1993)
Were BRIDGET FONDA to get stuck with a uniquely unruly roommate
now, she'd know how to handle her: with a glistening semiautomatic.
Next up for the well- pedigreed performer is the role of a drained
druggie murderer revamped into a lethal Vogue-styled victimizer for
the feds. In Point of No Return, look forward to Fonda gracefully
negotiating heels as she acts out the basic instincts of a covert
government assassins' group. The flick, an American try at La Femme
Nikita -- the hit killer thriller from France -- will shoot to
theaters this spring.
-- TIME Magazine (25 January 1993)