Monday, August 29, 2011

Colombiana

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

As a young kid, Cataleya (Zoe Saldana) witnesses the murder of her parents in her native Colombia. With prior knowledge and preparation, she survives the massacre and makes it to America to live with her uncle and grandmother. Fifteen years later she is a serial killer with a distinct MO, a clueless painter boyfriend (Michael Vartan), and an unquenchable thirst for payback. However, one minor mistake leads her to cross paths with FBI agent Ross (Jordi Molla), who begins to track her down. Her quest for revenge brings her to various places and gets her to do some kickass chick stuff like swimming with sharks, dodging bullets, and all that jazz.

The initial chase scene is peppered with excellent panoramic shots of Bogota's slums and a lot of Parkour that complements the frenetic change of pace in the plot. In fact, it is that sudden 180 degree turn of events that grips you and automatically keeps you hooked. Later on, our heroine tells her uncle straight to his face that she wants to be a killer. By then you would know that you are in for a thrilling movie experience. Think Salt meets Hanna a la Latina minus Cate Blanchett and her weird accent.

This is not Zoe Saldana's first action flick, but it should definitely not be her last. She has made the right choice if this is the career path she has decided to take. She has the body, she has the moves. Angelina Jolie's got some younger competition. The girl who portrays the younger version of La Colombiana also deserves due recognition. The girl does her job well that the transition of the character to Saldana is realized with ease.

The movie tries to be logical but we know how action flicks like this work. For your better enjoyment, just go with it. The action scenes are intense but most require some suspension of disbelief. Cataleya gets out of every predicament unscathed. In fact, it is only in that one particular fight scene towards the end where she actually gets some serious beating. She prances around in her sexy suits outsmarting almost everyone, from the shrewd mafia goons to the well trained SWAT team. Like they say in the movie, she is invisible like that. The few combat scenes not involving bullets are somehow lacking, with the director substituting seamless choreography with a series of quick jump shots and plenty of closeups.

So, how does it all end then? Action flicks like this always seem to take one of two paths: a) a tragic ending glorified with character redemption leading the audience to leave the theater a bit melancholic but inspired; or b) one final unbelievably ridiculous act vindicating the main character from everything including you, the viewer, but you accept it anyway because the movie was fun and cool. Just watch this movie. It is fun and cool. It is no Taken, but it is good enough for a night of adrenaline rush. If you like how girls and bullets mix, this one will not leave you unsatisfied.


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