Here’s the thing about Columbiana the new film that stars Zoe Saldana that opens tomorrow, the only thing that makes it different from any other action film is that the killer is a woman. That’s it. It is a revenge thriller with action and murder all throughout the film. One thing I did notice was that unlike some of the boy action and murder films, there was not so much blood and gore. She kills people and moves on.
The premise is that Cataleya’s parents are murdered by a drug lord and she spends her life honing her assassin skills to exact her own personal revenge. In the meantime she takes on murder assignments through her uncle who serves as her broker/pimp.
She kills because that is what she chooses to do. She is cold and brutal and stealth and smart. She is like Xena (a comic book she read as a girl) crossed with Spiderman slipping in and out of buildings barefoot and leaving bodies in her wake. She leaves a calling card on many of her murders to draw out her parent’s murderer, and the FBI agent who is trying to track down the killer at first dismisses any evidence that the killer of 20 odd people could be a woman because it is not possible that a woman would murder that many people. But he soon learns that he lost precious time in presuming age old stereotypes that a woman couldn’t be this type of killer.
What this movie does is fuck with all the gender stereotypes of who and what a murderer should look like. She scares the crap out of the FBI, the CIA, and takes on a posse of bad ass drug lords and kicks all their asses. And of course there is a little love action thrown in there with Michael Vartan playing here in the dark artist boyfriend who she drops in on from time to time but can’t really commit to…because she is a killer and always on the move. Kind of funny that Vartan again plays the boyfriend of a woman who is living a secret life. Remember Alias? Maybe Sydney Bristow was just a couple of years too early.
Columbiana through Zoe Saldana gives birth to a new type of action hero, one where gender is irrelevant. That itself is cool.