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'Colombiana' is more than slick stereotype

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POSTED: September 2, 2011 1:33 p.m.
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"In Colombiana," Zoe Saldana, plays a woman out for vengeance and she's not afraid to use big guns to get it.

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Can you believe it? “The Help” is still in the No. 1 spot at the box office this week. Way to go, ladies! But today, I’ll review the No. 2 film in America, “Colombiana.”
The PG-13 action picture stars “Avatar’s” Zoe Saldana. She plays Cataleya, a young Colombian femme fetale whose life is forever changed when, as a child, she witnesses the murder of her parents by mobsters. After the deaths she hides out in the states, where her uncle helps her to become a professional assassin. On the side, Cataleya leaves a trail of revenge killings until the FBI and the man who murdered her parents catch her scent.
On the surface “Colombiana” is a somewhat forgettable popcorn flick. It has some style and a decent soundtrack. Most of all, I hope actress Anne Hathaway decides to view it because she’s filming Batman 3 right now in Pittsburgh (“Dark Knight Rises”) in the role of Catwoman, and she could learn a lot from Saldana’s slick moves.
There are several things to note before dismissing this movie, however. For starters, beautiful youngster Amandla Stenberg plays Cataleya as a child and does a marvelous job. I can’t wait to see her in the role of Rue in “The Hunger Games” movie.
Also Luc Besson fans are not going to want to miss “Colombiana.” The French filmmaker is responsible for many other films boasting physically powerful female leads such as “The Fifth Element,” “La Femme Nikita,” “The Messenger” and my personal favorite, “The Professional.”
In that last film, 12-year-old Natalie Portman acted as Mathilda, a girl whose parents are murdered and whose only salvation is an Italian hitman who takes her in and begins training her to kill. Luc Besson wrote the script for “Colombiana” and I saw subtle references to “The Professional.” You’ll notice a tall glass of milk in a kitchen scene as well as some other subtle cues. I thought I might have been reading too much into things until I read that “Colombiana” originally was intended to be “Mathilda,” the long-awaited sequel to “The Professional.”
Unfortunately, that project has been scrapped and Zoe Saldana’s character evolved instead. But for being fun if not forgettable, I’m still a fan!

 

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