Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Columbiana, dir. Olivia Megaton, scr. Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen, st. Zoë Saldana, Michael Vartan, Cliff Curtis

From Luc Besson's keyboard comes yet another tale of an impossibly alpine-cheekboned, gun-toting beauty out for revenge. It's a testament to the formula that this still passes muster as an enjoyable saturday night popcorn flick, even if the plot's riddled with more holes than the movie's bullet-ridden sets. After seeing her family slain in front of her at the behest of Columbian scumbag Don Luis (Beto Benites) a young Cataleya escapes (via an impressively choreographed parkour sequence - think Bourne meets Young Apprentice) and vows to avenge her family when grown. Saldana as the older Cataleya is feminine and unstoppable in the way that made Nikita and Sarah Connor such fascinating characters to watch as they exuberantly go through every automatic weapon available, but where the film falls down is weak characterisation, lazy stereotyping and an overarching transparent desire to appease the male teen demographic. One scene even has Saldana coming home and inexplicably doing a salacious dance (she's alone) before checking her pistol whilst sucking on a lollipop. Nonetheless, the action sequences are balletic and slick and it's cleanly edited and shot. Watchable.