Thursday, 23 August 2012


 Columbiana is a girl power action adventure also covering the development of a young woman from childhood into life as an adult but the contrast between the character in 33 Postcards and the girl Catelya could not be greater. She is present when her parents are executed on behalf of a Columbian Drug Baron because they had wanted out and created an information disk having made contact with the USA authorities. She has already been trained to move with amazing dexterity and after stabbing in the hand the man sent to find the info she escapes the gang, gets to the embassy and into the USA where she makes her way to her mother’s family, and who for some inexplicable reason are unknown to the USA authorities, despite the family connection as well as the uncle’s involvement in crime.

The girl has only revenge in mind but is persuaded to get a good education as well as developing martial art skills. We meet her again when she has become a skilled and sophisticated assassin undertaking assignments arranged by her uncle. The problem from the position of her uncle and grandmother is that she has commenced to freelance in a systematic killing of USA drug lord connections, decorating their bodies with the shape of an orchid bearing her name and which is left as a calling card to gain the attention of the drug lord and his henchman she has vowed to kill.

It quickly emerges that the Drug Lord worked for the CIA and now lives under their protection in New Orleans. They attempt to prevent FBI agent James Ross from the info after he works out the connection between 22 killings over the previous four years. He assumes the killer is a male when a criminal is taken to a police station between prisons. He orders a careful study of everyone at the station on the day and this leads to a partial photo of the girl taken at the station as a drunk and released on bail the following morning but where all the information she provided proved false.

Her uncle becomes aware of what is happening when the FBI man releases information about the drawing on the bodies of the particular orchid. And begs her stop fearing for the life of his mother. There are two developments which lead to the finale. First the FBI is able to identify the girl through a series of increasingly unconvincing events. The girl has established a comes and go sexual relationship with an artist without revealing anything of her past and present life. He has become increasingly attached to her and contemplates asking her to marry him, taking a camera photo while she sleeps. He then shows the photo to a friend admitting his passion for her and lack of info. The friend is able to get hold of the phone and sends a copy of the photo to a police woman contact that uses it to search the national database. This alerts the FBI who locates the artist lover and also the home of the girl. She realises her cover has been blown and makes yet another daring and dramatic escape.

The attempt to bring into the open of the Drug Lord also has the undesired effect of his chief assistant torturing and killing her grand mother and uncle in the effort to find her whereabouts. She then captures the FBI man and threatens his family as a means of learning the location of the Drug Lord. The FBI man visits the CIA and amazingly the girl is in a position with a high velocity rifle to force the CIA man to reveal the location of the Drug Lord in exchanging for his life. There are two spectacular and horrific death finale moments. One in which she kills a criminal feeding him to the sharks he keeps as pets and the other when after a prolonged martial arts fight she stabs the chief assistant with the barrel of a gun in the neck and in the second when after killing about a score of his men it appears the Drug Lord has escaped in his large four wheel vehicle and he tells her he will find and kill her, she discloses that her plan is still in being and she orders the two killer dogs she has trained and placed in the vehicle to eat. She goes off to start a new life and with the artist also released without charge there is the prospect of the two getting together again. The film has been vigorously criticised, including for its stereotyping of Columbian culture and is unlikely to sequel given the publicised loss.

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