Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Thoughts on the film: Colombiana

Tomorrow we have a guy coming over to start some renovating at the house, so for the next few days I have to hang out and observe the proceedings. Then school starts again. So today was my last day of real vacation freedom where I can drive around town on a week day and do stuff.

Every vacation I like to take myself on a daytime date. I dress nice and go see a movie alone, then apparently I take myself grocery shopping because I am a practical date. I almost got through the whole summer without seeing a movie alone, so I rectified that this morning.

There's a theater in North Hollywood - Century 8 - where there is plenty of parking, it never sells out, and tickets are cheap. The line is rarely longer than 4 people and the first showing of the day is $5.25.

This morning I got dressed in nice clothes and went to the 11am screening of Colombiana. There were 3 men scattered throughout the theater, so I sat in the prime spot in the middle.

The up side of seeing a movie at 11 on a Tuesday morning - you sit wherever you want. The down side - the other people in the theater may be crazy. Then again, they may think I'm crazy since I switched seats like eight times. I feel that if you've got the entire theater to choose from, you have every right to demand perfection in your seats. You also have every right to take off your high heels and put your feet on the seat in front of you.

Anyhow, there was a movie.

This was pretty obviously a Luc Besson film. He cowrote and produced it, and even though he didn't direct it, his stamp was all over it. Great action scenes - particularly the big bathroom fight at the end, although I wish there were fewer cuts - some great character moments from the protagonist, a fun story. BUT there are ridiculous plot holes.


Young Zoe Saldana's dad gives her a Maguffin chip that the bad guys want.  This chip is supposed to be her passport to America, and when the Americans see what's on it they flip out. We don't know what it is, but clearly it means the bad guys are fucked. They almost killed lil Zoe for it, and they did kill her dad for it, and it's cool enough to get her into America and lots of cash on the US government, so man, it must be really heavy.

Except when we see the bad guys again the chip seems to have affected them not at all. In fact, their lives are better since they chased that kid out of Colombia. So what the fuck was all that fuss over the goddamn chip?

And when Michael Vartan finds out his sex buddy is actually a badass assassin, he's like "You're super!" How about "What the fuck, you kill people? That's pretty fucked up!" You were fucking a professional assassin, Michael Vartan! You should be pissed she didn't tell you! She could have gotten your white ass killed! I'd be pissed, anyway. I'd get a really good security system installed in my house. And a dragon.


Overall I did enjoy the film. One of its best features is that her actions as a warrior made complete sense. She's a slim woman, and she used that to her advantage. She didn't run around getting in a bunch of fistfights with large men and win. And when she did finally fight a guy hand to hand, it made complete sense.

Past revenge movies about women have seemed ridiculous; I don't really identify with the lead or believe her actions, but Zoe Saldana pulled it off perfectly. She pulled off some beautiful moments here where I really felt sympathy for her, and that ain't easy. I'm telling you guys, she is the next big thing.


  1. Having been cheated by that blowhard named Irene (no sexist innuendo/pun intended, only an atmospheric one), I treated myself to COLOMBIANA & DEVIL'S DOUBLE just this past Monday night (NYC).

    I gotta agree with you on your last point. Even though I read the script, I still enjoyed the film and Ms. Saldana doing the damn thing. She's making good moves. And, yeah, so what it had the plot holes & plot-by-mumbers - though there was no setup for MARCO to have that kinda fighting skill. If Jason Statham can make a freakin' career out of these flicks why not her? And, yes, she's got the acting chops to pull off the emotional lows (if not many highs).

    No comparison to the near comic-book action in SALT; Cataleya's feline form sensibly took center stage. Biggest peeve for me wasn't the clueless boyfriend (does Vartan loves this tack or what?) but the idiotic "special agent" trend. SPOILER: "can't be a woman" really? Did the flower drawn the 23rd time get so abstracted/stylized that only the freaking mailman recognized it? Geez.

    From what I've read, you certainly will (have) closed up holes like those in your stories. And HAYWIRE has yet to come... Vigilance!

  2. Haven't seen it yet, so I've avoided reading the end spoilers - but I was concerned for this film after reading a post on the Women and Hollywood blog that proclaimed she was just like a male action character, only female. Like that's a good thing.

  3. I disagree with that completely. She's vulnerable and fights like a girl who knows how to fight, not like a man at all. In fact, I think this movie got that aspect completely right.

  4. The funny part is no one in the audience I was in scoffed at the scene of her adopted father shooting up a car and walked away while the fuzz is rolling in.

    Should have been R and Luc needs to direct again, pleeeeese!

    otherwise, yeh, less cuts would have been nice. Lease no matrix wire foo.

    Hopefully Haywire is good or better...

  5. Well, that is good to know, Emily. It's what my impression of the film from previews is, so I don't know what the blogger meant, other than, perhaps, she's a bad-ass!

  6. 8 times! The eccentricity of genius.

    In the animal kingdom, the girls fight like girls. It's scary. And quick.

    The only drawn out struggles happen when something like a boa is involved.

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