Trailer Detective: ‘Kate’

Kate Cast - Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Kate

Netflix released the Kate trailer on August 4, 2021. This info article includes five observations by the Trailer Detective. Check out Vague Visages’ Movie and TV News section for more breakdowns.

Scheduled for a September 10 release on Netflix, Kate stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead as an elite assassin. After being poisoned by the Japanese yakuza, she wreaks havoc on her enemies and befriends a teenage girl. Kate co-stars Miku Martineau, Woody Harrelson, Michiel Huisman, Tadanobu Asano, Jun Kunimura, and Miyavi. The film was directed by Cedric Nicolas-Troyan (The Huntsman: Winter’s War) and written by Umair Aleem (Extraction).

Kate Trailer Observation #1: Style Over Substance?

Kate Trailer - Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Kate

The Kate trailer teases a stylish assassin film, but I’m concerned that it will be a hipster-friendly version of John Wick. Winstead’s character looks frazzled and distressed throughout, yet she wears shades during a battle sequence with a cigarette dangling from her mouth. Does this fit the character profile? If so, then it’s a strong visual. Most likely, it’s from the end of the film when Kate has seemingly accepted her inevitable death. Winstead looks fantastic and can pull it off, but I’m hoping that the film doesn’t prioritize slick imagery over the actual story.

Kate Trailer Observation #2: Woody Harrelson Is Up to No Good

Kate Trailer - Woody Harrelson

Woody Harrelson’s character in the Kate trailer makes me suspicious. Now, he may just be Kate’s mild-mannered mentor, a man who genuinely cares for her well-being. However, I don’t quite buy the aw-shucks routine with furrowed eyebrows. This guy has secrets to protect, it seems, and will probably be exposed in the final act.

Kate Trailer Observation #3: Who Is Miku Martineau?

Kate Trailer - Miku Martineau

The Kate trailer prominently features Miku Martineau as Kate’s likely protege, the daughter of a past target. The Netflix film marks the feature debut for the Canadian actress, who is best known for portraying Chloe/Sandy in Finny the Shark. Martineau’s character seems to enjoy the thrill of hanging out with Kate, and delivers the trailer’s most chilling line: “You’re all about to die.”

Kate Trailer Observation #4: Kate Has a Traumatic Backstory

Kate Trailer - Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Kate

Winstead’s character kicks a good amount of ass in the Kate trailer, and seems to have elite training in hand-to-hand combat. She unloads with force on her male enemies, which entertains her young friend, portrayed by Martineau. It doesn’t seem like Harrelson’s character is Kate’s father, but rather someone who’s been looking after her for years. But why? A few close-up visuals imply that Kate has some unresolved emotional issues. If Harrelson’s character turns out to be a villain rather than a father figure, then that could be the perfect set-up for a sequel — Kate seeks revenge on a man who is symbolic of past trauma.

Kate Trailer Observation #5: Best Visual and Overall Assessment

Kate Trailer - Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Kate

The Kate trailer shows a woman in search of clarity. She is pushed to extremes and appears to struggle with an existential dilemma. Based on Netflix’s teaser clip, Kate will presumably transform into a motherly figure for Martineau’s character, and most likely receive an antidote before learning unfortunate truths about her past. The image above seems to capture the essence of Winstead’s antihero, a victimized woman who lashes out upon being deceived and underestimated.

Q.V. Hough (@QVHough) is Vague Visages’ founding editor.