Colombiana: Toothbrush Edition
End credits roll. The lights go up and the talkative child in the theater doesn’t appear to have as much conversation left in them as he did at the start of this movie. My thoughts? “Wow. I have grossly underestimated the potential in my bathroom toiletries!“. I’m sure we all have, but there was a bit more to this movie than dental care self-defense.
At the onset of this movie, the beginning credits quickly reminded me of Man on Fire, which also reminded me that I wanted to watch Man on Fire again. The styling and locale of the opening shots are very reminiscent of the film and if it was going to be anything like that movie; I was in for a treat. Colombiana is a revenge movie starring Zoe Saldana as Cataleya, a young girl who grows up in the throes of a less than legal cartel battle which lands her parents both murdered at her dwelling while she is sits in a shocked state. She then escapes and heads to America to live with her uncle (played by Cliff Curtis) who really shines as a strong character in this tale of payback and who also knows a thing or two about arranging meetings with The Almighty.
This movie could have got very cheesy at this point because having a little girl asking to become a trained killer is begging for some silly montage of adolescent workouts and murderous hand holding. But they forgo the storytelling drudgery and rightfully so. After all, it is difficult to portray little kids turning into killing machines better than Leon (The Professional) did. Oh my gosh, this kid behind me keeps asking for popcorn! Instead, they opt to flash forward to an adult Cataleya who is very much skilled in the ways of cappin’ fools and wearing underwear. Seriously. I think she is in her undies for a little more than a quarter of the movie. I could be totally exaggerating on that one, but it sure felt like it and I don’t think it got many groans from the audience (being mostly male). There is this one scene of her holding this huge rifle while in her unmentionables that seemed very iconic of the film or, at the very least, some random anime I watched or dream I had dreamt.
I am not going to give anything away, but suffice to say that she begins her assault on this cartel that murdered her family and quickly learns a lesson about personal agenda and those who are special to us. Vulnerability is the main character of this movie. Whether it is her family that is caught up in her tunnel vision revenge spree or the guy she wants to get close to without relinquishing control and mystery. The popcorn kid asked “Why is she mad?” at two different moments- that was actually kind of funny. The movie certainly has its flaws but the premise and execution was still entertaining and I am beginning to respect Zoe more and more as she tackles these hardcore roles. One thing is for sure, I will be excited to see what the Blu-Ray special features include because any alternate ending will be welcomed over the one given in theaters. Toothbrush included with the disc would be a nice touch.