Friday, February 17, 2012

3 Short Paragraphs: Colombiana


2011, Olivier Megaton (Transporter 3) -- download

And then there is the movie about a killer where they don't even try to make you sympathize with her but expect you to nonetheless.  Colombiana is a sexy, slick revenge flick with an even skinnier Zoe Saldana as Cataleya, a hired killer who learned the skill so she could someday kill the men who killed her family.  Sounds like something sympathetic, right?  No, because her father was in the employ of a drug lord in Bogota.  Sure, nobody deserves to have their family murdered in front of them but, y'know, you lie down with dogs... Anywayz, she gets away, smuggles herself to the US to hookup with her uncle, a hitman and fixer.  Nice family you have there Cataleya.  She gives her uncle no choice but to train her to become a killer, all so she can take vengeance at a later date.  The problem with such dramatic choices is that the target might just die while you are growing up and learning the needed skills.  "Oh dear, Drug Lord was killed in a battle with another drug lord, guess I will stop learning how to be an assassin and work at the local UPS store."

Anywayz, Drug Lord doesn't die early and Cataleya (I just like saying her name in my head every time I type it) becomes a slinky, sexy killer in a catsuit.  I admit, watching her sneak into the police station in the ultra controlled fashion made me forgive the fact she is so skinny she wouldn't have the muscle mass to perform said actions.  It was sexy.  This is the first kill we see and actually not one for hire. She has been slowly killing off anyone involved with her family's murder (they are all in the US now) and leaving a trademark sign of a cataleya flower.  The FBI are hunting her and her uncle is pissed she is doing pro bono work.

Cataleya never really comes sympathetic.  Sexy to the nines but never really a likeable character.  I guess it's all about audience.  Intended viewers just want to see her slink around in her underwear, shoot bad guys between the eyes and have sex without emotional ties.  Now given that this is probably the Luc Besson / Robert Mark Kamen dregs from their failed attempt to bring Mathilda (Leon sequel) to the screen, I should like it more.  Why do I find the idea of a grown up Natalie Portman character becoming an assassin like her pseudo-uncle much more than this vehicle?  I guess because the whole Leon story is about the tragic nature of what the little girl experiences and that as the plot of a sequel would be even more tragic.  In this we are supposed to ignore sympathies and just enjoy her killer actions.  Stylishly, I did.  Plot-wise, I didn't.