Movie Review: "Colombiana" (2011)
"Colombiana" is the story of an orphaned girl who witnesses the murder of her parents and grows up to avenge them. I think I liked this movie better when it was called "The Professional" -- You know, when it was done more realistically. I'll explain.
The film opens with a title sequence that looks like it was lifted from one of those 'Bourne Identity' movies. The main character is Cataleya (Zoe Saldana). In the beginning of the film, she's just a little girl; we learn that her father is involved in the drug business and he happens to find himself in big trouble... which leads to he and his wife getting killed. Sound familiar yet?
Nevermind the 'Bourne Identity' opening titles, the real red flag doesn't occur until our little cute Cataleya starts doing things that are unrealistic. After killing her parents, one of the murderers tries to interrogate her for some vital information over a dining table. Cateleya grabs a knife that is strapped underneath the table and stabs him in the hand, allowing her to escape.
Why is there a knife strapped beneath the dining table? How did her parents know that it would come in handy in such a situation like that? The truth is that the knife isn't supposed to be there, it's a little movie magic called: Plot Convenience. It was invented for "Colombiana" because the writer couldn't think of a better way to get Cataleya out of such a situation. What if the knife were just sitting on the table right beneath a newspaper? Now that would have been more plausible.
But no, the writer decided that Cataleya was going to turn into some kind of superhero... or should I say Leon from "The Professional"? Anyways, immediately after stabbing Generic Foreign Bad Guy, Cataleya jumps out the window and a ridiculous chase sequence ensues that involves Cataleya scaling walls, fences, and leaping from rooftop to rooftop. Remember, this is a little girl we're talking about here. When the mental image of a little girl doing things like this comes to mind, I can only think of three things:
- "Home Alone 5: Lost in Colombia"
- "The Karate Kid 2: Assassin's Creed"
- and "Tomb Raider: The Early Years"
The latter isn't actually far-fetched when you watch the rest of this turd... I mean movie. Anyway, my point being is that this escape/chase scene is way too unrealistic. Again, I will use "The Professional" (which this film is so desperately striving to be on certain levels) as an example -- When Matilda's (Natalie Portman) parents are murdered by the corrupt DEA officers, she isn't even in the apartment when it happens. She returns home from the grocery store and hides in Leon's (the hitman) apartment next door.
Never did we see Matilda karate chopping Gary Oldman in the balls and web-slinging, I mean jumping, on top of the Empire State Building. Anyway, Cataleya runs to the local CIA office where her father had a connection with one of the agents. She provides him a disc that the bad guys were after and this earns her a passport to the United States. Actually, she evades the government escorts at the airport and ends up buying her own plane ticket to Chicago where her uncle lives.
Once in Chicago, she learns that her relatives are also trained gunners like her father. She then decides she wants to be trained as a killer at a young age so she can avenge her family (once again, sound familiar?). What follows next is yet another unrealistic scene, I swear to God it belongs in a 'Naked Gun' comedy...
Her uncle decides to prove a point by pulling out a gun on a public street right outside a school and starts shooting up everything in sight. The lesson? If you want to be a trained killer, you have to be smart first before you even pull a trigger, so you must go to school. Whatever, uncle, the problem is you just brought a whole lot of unwanted attention to yourself by shooting a gun in public. It doesn't take long for the police to arrive either, yet good ol' uncle and Catalaya walk away unnoticed. Whether this movie was written for retards or not, I'm not buying this crap.
The next scene shows us Cataleya as a fully grown woman taking on the guise of a drunk woman who gets arrested. Long story short, she turns out to be on some kind of Lara Croft mission... Wait, I mean secret government mission. This registers when she starts stripping away her disguise and dons a catsuit under dim-lighting, then she starts doing all this stereotypical Female Secret Agent nonsense (Black Widow anyone?).
Then we see her do more scaling, running, and jumping off rooftops. What is this, a sequel to "Catwoman"? I think the main reason this movie was made was just so that the filmmakers had an excuse to make money off of the allure that the sexy and sultry Zoe Saldana is playing a catsuit-donning secret agent who disrobes quite often. It's a dirty, sleazy marketing gimmick.
I don't even think I need to discuss what happens in the rest of this movie as it is painfully obvious. Long story short, Cataleya sets out to kill the people who murdered her parents... and she eventually succeeds. Plain and simple. All they did was throw in lots of explosions, high-tech gadgets, and expensive dwellings to make it seem like it's really more than what it is.
Got Eye Candy?
Speaking of marketing and gimmicks, I think Hollywood stuffed this one up really good. It's not too hard to notice that they've carefully put together all of the typical entrapments in place for male audiences. I'll try to cover as many as I can here:
- A shower scene.
- An interracial sex scene.
- Zoe Saldana sucking on a lollipop while cleaning a pistol.
- Zoe Saldana in skintight catsuits.
- Zoe Saldana in a skimpy top with tight denim shorts.
- Zoe Saldana in a bathing suit, quietly swimming past a bunch of sharks in a pool.
- Zoe Saldana donning a white beater, pajama shorts, and a very large gun as tries to escape a SWAT team raid on her apartment (and once again... sound familiar?).
And the list goes on, but I'm about to vomit from this mess of a movie so I think I'll stop there. Seriously, why not just make this a porno flick instead? When take away everything else in this movie, that's all it really is -- soft-core porn.
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