October 2, 2012

Colombiana (2011)

Zoe Saldana

Poor Colombia. It gets such a bad rap. Clear and Present Danger. Blow. Miami Vice. Even Proof of Life! (Although I don't blame you if you skipped that last one. It wasn't good.) All these movies depict Colombia as a haven for crime, drugs, and ugly old men wearing aviator sunglasses who are so rich they can have young hot women lounging at their compounds 24/7. I'm assuming some drug lord in Colombia must have had this set-up at some point, because it really seems to have become the standard for every movie involving rich drug dealers. If I ever go to a drug lord's house, I'll let you know if it's accurate. I'll also let you know if Jordi Molla is there, since he seems to be a fixture in all these types of movies as well.

I first discovered Zoe Saldana back in an amazing little film called Center Stage. If you are not averse to cheesy dialogue and sub par acting in the name of a dance movie (namely, all of you out there keeping the Step Up franchise alive), you need to go rent this immediately. And for those of you who thought you'd seen her big screen debut by sitting through Crossroads with Britney Spears, well, shame on you (for both watching that movie and being uninformed about Zoe's acting career timeline).

So now that she's made it to the big leagues by headlining movies and even dating other A-List actors (the true mark of "making it" in Hollywood, really - just ask J-Lo), I was disappointed to see her exploited in this movie. What do I mean by this? She's supposed to be a stone-cold assassin, which is badass, except for the continued attempts to make her character "sexy" by having her awkwardly dance seductively alone in her apartment for absolutely no reason and frequently undress slowly. Again, alone, so it's not like they are claiming it's artistically relevant to the plot or anything. And no matter how good looking she is, these scenes just shouldn't happen. The movie doesn't need it. Call me a feminist, but I think it sort of undermines the whole female empowerment thing.

Anyway, I do have to give some kudos for casting a decent actor as "young Cataleya," since so often in movies directors seem to think if a kid is cute people won't notice they have the acting skills of a paper bag. It's actually Rue from The Hunger Games, so it looks like this movie may have actually propelled her career. In the movie, the little girl has moves like Jackie Chan, which is kinda cool and entertaining, as long you don't think about the fact that it's totally implausible that a nine-year old can lift a manhole cover by herself. But hey, people don't watch action movies for the plot, right?

Final word: I know I say this about a lot of movies, but I've seen worse.

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