by Greg Martinez
My wife and I decided to go see a movie for our date night last week. I scanned the listings at our local theater and saw they were showing a movie named Colombiana. I checked the user reviews on Yahoo and they seemed decent enough so we went to see the movie. The professional critics generally panned the film, but I don’t care what they say because they tend to be a group of elitist snobs. They seem more interested in promoting movies that fit their world view rather than pure entertainment. If you are one of those who hang on to what movie critics say, I suggest you just stop reading now and just mindlessly decry the excessive violence of the movie, as you have become conditioned to do.
What struck me first about the movie is the title. I knew this was one of the rare Latino oriented films just by the title. The movie opened up with a sweeping panoramic shot of the barrios of Bogotá, Colombia. I love these types of shots because they make you realize the enormity of the poverty in third-world countries when compared to the good old U.S. of A. There was a similar shot of the Brazilian favelas in the movie The Incredible Hulk.
The movie is about a girl named Cataleya who witnesses the murder of her parents by mobsters. She decides at the age of nine to be a professional killer and avenge their deaths. Cataleya is also the name of a type of orchid, and the flower becomes the girl’s calling card. The movie is exciting and action packed. The plot itself was pretty predictable and did not have any real twists to it. It included the obligatory love interest angle.
One thing I look at with Latino-oriented movies is how many Latinos are actually in them. Most of these movies come up short in this area and Colombiana is no exception. The leading actress, Zoe Saldana, is the only Latina among the featured actors. She is actually an Afro Latina with Dominican and Puerto Rican roots. Colombia does have a minority of about 15 percent of African/Mulatto descent, so she is somewhat believable.
However her parents in the movie do not appear to be Afro or Mulatto. This is typical of the media establishment who tend to lump Blacks and Latinos together. None of the other leading actors in the movie are actually Latin American. The lead bad guy Marco is played by Jordi Molla from Spain. Cataleya’s uncle Emilio is played by an actor from New Zealand named Cliff Curtis. The other featured actors are white.
If you like action-packed revenge movies like I do, you will enjoy Colombiana. The thrill of watching bad guys get killed never gets old. Like most movies, you need to suspend your disbelief to enjoy it. The movie has no special effects that make it a must-see in theaters. You can wait for the DVD to come out.
Staff Writer, Greg Martinez.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of
the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.