I think it’s safe to say, in regards to the following statement, that there is little debate. Zoe Saldana is sexy. She is. I don’t know what she does, or how she does it, but she turns my head pretty damn fast. So when she gets her own movie where she is kicking butt and being a bad ass, my response is, “sure, why not”. And I have a feeling that’s exactly what the producers are hoping for as well. Thus, the movie with the clunky name, “Colombiana” is made.
Saldana plays Cataleya, a young girl who watches her parents gets murdered, and seeks revenge against a cartel of … you know what, I have no idea what they do. There’s no mention of drugs or anything like that, but that’s the assumption. But you know they are not good, and you know it’s up to the sultry protagonist to kill them and any hapless grunts that just happen to be in the general vicinity. And of course she does this with the power of being barefoot and the old adage that the less clothing a girl wears, the more protected and agile she is. Throughout half the film, over half of her body is exposed, wearing nothing but tank tops, short shorts and so on. Not that I was complaining or anything.
The movie starts with a young version of our hero, whom after watching the parents get the bullet buffet, she gets away from the killers and escapes to the American embassy to get to the states, then dodges the American caretakers to find her uncle in Chicago, played my Cliff Curtis, who is reluctantly willing to teach her to kill. Fast forward where she is pretending to be a drunk to get into a police station to some bad dude that just happens to be there overnight from the US Marshall. The whole scene is watching her getting to tight leotard, sneaking through the hallway, climb through the duct and eventually getting to her target.
You watch the scene, and you start to notice the things that make you go hmm. Like they show that there are multiple cameras throughout the prison, yet, not one of them caught her in action once, nor the security guard watching the live feeds notice the cameras that get moved? Also, she goes MacGuyver on us by using a plastic cup and a spoon to delay a drop of water to electrocute the air conditioning to get through the air ducts. Just one single drop is all it takes, apparently. The guard goes to check the anomaly, kicks it back into functionality, and throws the cup into the trash. Wouldn’t you, you know, question why a metal spoon and a plastic cup full of water was in there to begin with? It’s like a poorly programmed Metal Gear Solid mission. Just knock the wall, and hide under an empty cardboard box, and these goofs won’t notice. Hell even the Special Agent doing the investigation, played by the underrated Lennie James, acts like he’s over the head in connecting the dots, like assuming the murderer is a guy and wonders why he is leaving his calling card, which is drawing of a flower drawn in LIPSTICK? It makes you feel that Cataleya is surviving by having incompetent enemies.
There was another thing that bugged me when I left the theatre. The opening scene is labelled Columbia in the year 1992. She’s handing over a sim card to the American Embassy that the cartel was looking for. I’m giving a pass on that one because according to the Internet, it was invented in 1991. But later in the scene, she’s reading a Xena comic, and that she wanted to grow up to be Xena. But that show didn’t start until 1995, and the comic didn’t come out until 1996. Afterwards, the screen says 15 years later, which would make it 2007. I’m giving another pass on the iPhone, but it looks like a modern version, but when you have a President Obama picture in the CIA office scene, you have to call a flag on the play. Someone taking care of consistency didn’t do their job.
The style of filming is similar to the movie Traffic, it’s gritty and hued a little to look rustic. It actually works for mood and uncertainly, and definitely is a relief from all the shakey cams from recent. Some of the fight scenes do use the quick edits, but it’s not as annoying as some of them out there. The movie was written by Luc Besson, who is known for awesome movies like Leon: The Professional, Nikita, and the Transporter series. Once this bit of info clicks in, you come to the realization that you’ve seen this movie before. It’s a shame when that comes to mind, because that ruins the movie a little. That being said, the movie is fun, and visually pleasing. The movie is filled with actors that make you snap your fingers in the theatre and try to think where you’ve seen them. Lennie James was in Snatch and the TV shows like the Walking Dead and Jericho. Cliff Curtis was in the movie Blow, along with Jordi Molla whose also in Colombiana. They are good actors, and it’s good to see them get work, and their familiarity brings something to the screen.
When it comes down to it, the movie didn’t have to be made, nothing in the movie makes it a must see, but if you like movies like Leon: The Professional, Assassins and Nikita, you’ll like this movie. It’s mindless entertainment, and visual eye candy that sure to please, especially if you’re like me and find Saldana to be drop dead gorgeous. I will admit that the previously mentioned movies are better than Colombiana, but that doesn’t mean it sucks as a movie. If you choose to wait until cheap night, or when it comes to DVD, go for it. It’s not for everyone, and it’s not a summer blockbuster that this summer seems to lack, but I still recommend at least checking it out if you like these kind of movies.