Sunday, September 4, 2011

What Little Girls are Made Of

Cateleya is 10 years-old and has just witnessed her parents being killed.  She escapes from Columbia and her parents' killers and takes sanctuary with her uncle in Chicago.  When asked what she wants to be when she grows up, she states unflinchingly "a killer."  And so begins the revenge action flick Columbiana co-written by Luc Besson (La Femme Nikita, Leon: The Professional and The 5th Element).  Cateleya indeed grows up to be a professional killer, and a bit of a con-artist,  taking out folks for money as well as targeting those who killed her family.  What I liked the most about this film was seeing a black woman, actress Zoe Saldana, take the lead and carry a feature-length action movie.  [Although I did get tired of Saldana prancing around without a bra.  When you kick ass for a living, you need support!]  The other great thing about the film was the complete role reversal that comes along with a female action hero. This is conveyed by Cateleya's relationship with love interest with Danny, played by Michael Vartan.  Danny is an artist who doesn't know Cateleya's true occupation or even her real name.  While he pines away for her and wonders why she won't confide in him, Cateleya is out kicking ass.  So basically Danny is the chick, a story element I thought was quite clever.  The film-makers also did not skimp on the fight scenes.  They are really frenetic, especially the last one, letting Cateleya go blow for blow against the all-male antagonists.  So if you're in the market for a decent action film, Colombiana is worth checking out.

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