5 reasons why I cuts for "Colombiana" even though you told me not to watch it...

When I announced my intention to go watch Colombiana, the new shoot-em-up popcorn flick starring rising star Zoe Saldana, I received many texts, tweets, and other assorted comments suggesting that my hard-earned money would be better spent elsewhere. They're welcome to their opinions, but I had several good reasons to put my chips on the deck to watch this one, whether I really expected it to blow my mind or not. I wasn't expecting an Oscar-worthy tour de force (and it wasn't one), but I was hoping for a good time, which it delivered. Here's five reasons I watched it, and you should too...

5) Gun control means using both hands- It's been a while since I saw an action movie where the protagonist pulls out guns the size of the one Saldana's hit-girl for hire Cataleya Restrepo packs in Colombiana, which definitely did not disappoint in the steel-packing category, scoring high on my Wa-da-da-dang-o-meter.
4) Girl Power- Americans have a problem imagining women as violent or powerful, especially if they are still hot and feminine. As the only son of a single mom with two older sisters, I know this reductive view of female ability is a fictional construct, not reflective of the true potential of women. The script for Colombiana is by French writer/director Luc Besson, known for supplying chick badassery in films like Le Femme Nakita and The Fifth Element. While Colombiana is not the equal of those films, there are several great action scenes that place Cataleya's athletic and combat prowess front and center. I got the impression that many critics have a fundamental problem with depicting a female (and in this case a woman of color) with mad skills and a stone-faced attitude toward violence. If you liked XXX and/or Salt, but you can't accept Saldana as a badass gun-clapping, neck-snapping instrument of vengeance, then I think you pro'lly need to check yourself.
3) Inspiration- One of the best compliments I can give a film or television show is that it makes me want to write and draw comics. Although much of the execution in this movie falls short of outstanding, it definitely met my "makes me wanna make comics" criteria. I would not be surprised if lots of creative people had a similar experience. If anybody hears that the rights-holders are thinking about making comics based on Cataleya (and Brian Stelfreeze and Jason Pearson aren't interested), have them give me a shout...
2) Can you say "Franchise?"- Sequels aren't often better than the original films, just more expensive. Even though I enjoyed Colombiana, I think there is a lot of room to improve upon this movie's execution and build on the characters (the ones that survived anyways).There is enough substance here to turn this into a series of movies like James Bond (or at least The Transporter). When I was watching it, I could feel it as a 1st person shooter video game. Wouldn't you love to snipe CIA agents and drown Colombian drug lords and emerge from swimming pools of blood as the lovely and deadly femme fatale?
1) Fear of a Tyler Perry planet- I like Zoe Saldana. I have been a fan ever since she played the Star Trek-loving bureaucrat Dolores Torres in The Terminal. My hope is that her agents will keep her on the fanboytoy track evidenced by that role, as well as her ventures into badassery in The Losers and Colombiana. As a black(ish... I know she mostly identifies herself as latina. Whatevs) actress, the mysterious magnetic powers of racial typecasting will try to exile her the dark and seedy world of Tyler Perry films, never to return, and frankly I'd rather not see that happen. While I would never take Tyler Perry away from those who love his movies, I personally can't stand them. So I feel very strongly about supporting genre films that Saldana appears in... besides which, it would be awesome if Hollywood money-men believed in black women. I swear they are capable of more than romantic comedies and The Help. 

4 comments:

corance said...

On point! This is definitely the type of fare I'd like to see from Saldana and blacks in general. Madd skillz must be represented.

samax said...

Indeed! Speaking of madd skillz, you should check out that post with the trailers for "Soul Man" if you haven't already
http://ghettomanga.blogspot.com/2011/09/soul-man.html

Vee (Scratch) said...

Colombiana was TIGHT!
Just as good as any recent gun-toting action film.

Despite her size, Zoe Saldana, sold the physical performance.

samax amen said...

Right. If it had been R-rated, I would have given it the standing slow clap. But studios are all about pushing PG-13 action movies right now... what can I say?

Zoe is down with the physical parts. I say do it until the wheels fall off.

Check this out!

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