Colombiana: Movie Review

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

After seeing the trailer of this movie, I told myself, I've got to see this movie. I braced myself because one afternoon, after finally having the chance to watch it, I was breathless. I remember liking her in her graceful film debut in the 2000 movie, Center Stage. And then almost a decade later she was starring in the mega hit, Avatar. Now she was turning to a film focused on revenge and violence, two of my favorite movie-going themes.

The plot is basically about a little girl in Bogota sitting patiently in the kitchen of her home as her parents are being murdered in the house by a rival gang. She escapes and provides the US government, via a puke delivery system, with evidence on this gang that her father gave her just before he was killed. This buys her passage to the United States where she joins her Colombian uncle (played by New Zealander Cliff Curtis) after evading her US government escort. Yes, this little girl, on her own, eludes a trained government agent in a strange country, finds her way to Chicago from Miami by bus and then is able to navigate the Chicago subway system, all this without knowing, as far as I know, any English. Anyway, she’s then all grown up and determined to bring her parent’s killer, Don Luis, to justice by killing him. He very conveniently, by the way, was moved to the Chicago area by the CIA for reasons never made clear. She kills the guy, of course, like 99 minutes later and then the movie ends as if they wanted to make the viewers anticipate that they're doing a part 2. 

The little girl, wanting to be “a killer” is straight from Besson’s The Professional with Natalie Portman. Then there are the Bourne Identity rip-off scenes. You might remember this films while watching this movie. 

Although a lot of people have been criticizing this movie simply because they think it is giving a bad image to the country itself and to the citizens, it is clear that referring to Colombians in the United States has become shorthand for drug cartels, violence, crime and gangs. This, unfortunately, has become major marketing and plot shorthand in a whole lot of movies and television shows over the years. 

I love the film, I think Zoe is savvy and perfect for the role. Although I am envisioning Halle Berry on this role as well. I recommend for you to watch it. 

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