Monday, September 05, 2011


I went to see this one Saturday and came away somewhat disappointed.  The movie was a solid Luc Besson story, with vengeance and action, but it just didn't play big enough for me.  I expected a little more over-the-top stuff and some crisp martial arts action given that the main character (Zoe Saldana) is become more and more well known.

The initial action at the beginning with the young Cataleya (Amandla Stenberg) jumping across the rooftops and sliding through the markets is really good, but I was surprised at how long it went on.  The yellow wash over the film at this point really made the neighborhood stand out, though, and everything was beautiful.

Emilio (Cliff Curtis) was excellent as the uncle.  Very hard bitten, very believable.

Saldana turns in some really good work with this film overall.  As a gymnast, she's superb as she flips around the rooftops.  But I missed the martial arts work and the gunplay.  Of course, I'd gone into the film expecting those and was a little miffed that they were MIA.

Callum Blue as the CIA agent was really underutilized, but had one of the best scenes in the movie in the end.  Likewise, I don't really get why Michael Vartan agreed to do the role in this one because anyone could have done it.  Maybe he didn't read the script and just signed on.

I don't know if Besson intends this one as a series, but I'd definitely watch a second one if Saldana continues in the role.  I'd like a little more meat in a second film, as well as increased fight scenes and gun action more in the tradition of the Transporter movies.


Michael L. Kent said...

I liked it. Not a big fan myself of the gravity defying martial arts that are so common, I thought the action was more believable than a 90lb woman fighting a 180lb man both trained to fight and the woman winning.

Jack Badelaire said...

I have to agree that I really didn't want to see much in the way of Martial Arts action - ZS is so thin (dare I say scrawny?) that imagining her wading through bad guys with a whirlwind of spin-kicks and knife-hand chops was almost laughable. I think the fight near the end - the only real HTH in the movie - was done well to show that she isn't some waiflike Xena.

I am in agreement with the Vartan comment - this guy could have been a complete unknown, and I think he was way under-utilized. Most of the secondary actors were pretty entertaining though.

I'd rate this as a solid "B". Not great, but if I stumble across it a year from now on HBO, I might watch it again.