AND 'MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE", AS 'SCARFACE' WEEK CONTINUES
As we are in the midst of what has turned into an impromptu Scarface week, we might as well point out that several critics/viewers are noting Scarface references in the new Luc Besson-produced Colombiana, which is directed by Olivier Megaton, and opens today. (The film is loosely based on Besson's orginal idea for a sequel to Léon.) The main character in Colombiana, according to one blogger, has a poster of Scarface, which was already in the room she inherits when her uncle takes her in (the room belonged to the uncle's late son). A couple of people also mentioned Mission: Impossible as a reference for scenes such as the one pictured here. Below are some links and quotes:
Salon's Andrew O'Hehir
"...a trashy and ridiculous blend of La Femme Nikita, Scarface and Fast Five."
The New York Times' Mike Hale
"Colombiana isn’t content to be a comic-book joyride (though it is that); it has pretensions to a more turgid class of revenge melodrama, along the lines of Tony Scott’s Man on Fire. It also has pretensions, period: Mr. Megaton sprinkles in homages to Francis Ford Coppola (Ms. [Zoe] Saldana’s rising out of the water like Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now) and Brian De Palma (the climactic sequence at a drug lord’s lair is redolent of Scarface). The overall effect is distancing; there are some early comic moments that have you laughing along with the movie, but eventually the clashing tones and preposterousness just have you laughing."
Advance Screening's Matthew Fong
"Were your parents murdered in front of you as a child? Well Cataleya’s were and she instantly plotted revenge. There’s something eerily cute when a little 9 year-old girl replies to the question, 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' with 'a killer' (in a Colombian accent). She reads Xena: Warrior Princess and wants to become a warrior princess herself. Cliff Curtis plays Emilio Restrepo, Cataleya’s uncle, who takes care of her and trains her to become an assassin. He sets her up in his late son’s room which is filled with guns and a poster of Scarface so you can see what her influences were."
Movieline's Jen Yamato
"...watching the film there are a handful of notable nods to Colombiana’s genre predecessors — basically, every Luc Besson movie, The Professional and La Femme Nikita, and even a touch of Scarface."
indieWIRE's Drew Taylor
"Instead of a young American girl tutored by an aging French hitman, though [as in Léon], Colombiana is first set in Colombia, with the aforementioned parent-murdering (the little girl’s father was involved in some shady cartel business). The little girl then goes to Chicago where she’s taken in by her equally shady uncle (Cliff Curtis). The little girl, named Cataleya Restrepo, after a rare Amazonian orchid, wants her uncle to teach her how to murder, which he rejects by randomly firing his gun at a passing car (and presumably killing a perfectly innocent pedestrian). “Is that what you want?” he asks her, passion bubbling in his Al Pacino-in-Scarface-accented voice. She says no, she’ll wait, but it’s a shocking, clumsy moment that the audience barely has any time to recover from.
The movie then snaps forward 15 years, to Los Angeles, where Cataleya is now grown and carrying out a cleverly elaborate hit job in a local prison. Her target is Latin American, and she brands the corpse with her signature (a curlicue scribble of her namesake), so we assume that this victim had something to do with her parents’ murder. It adds a juicy jolt of thrills to the ingeniously plotted maneuver, which has all the hallmarks of a great Mission: Impossible jaunt, with the added bonus of Saldana pouring herself into a slinky black catsuit."
Not A Supermom
"And after a hard day of killing, there’s nothing Catalaya likes to do better than to return home, strip off, do a little sexy-dance around her empty apartment, take a shower and then spend a full minute eating a lollipop. Just like Pacino in Scarface! There are a few call-backs to Scarface in this movie, as well as the Lethal Weapon franchise. When she visits the FBI agent tracking her, you can almost hear him say that he’s 'too old for this'…stuff... Thankfully, Catalaya abstains from post-mortem one-liners. But feel free to add some in your own head throughout the movie. When she is standing on a balcony in the mansion and raining bullets down on the cartel henchmen, I defy you not to think 'Say hello to my little friend'."
Tr3s' Michael Lopez
"The final invasion on El Don is something straight out of Scarface, complete with machine guns, grenades, and choreographed head butts. Unfortunately, every action moment in this movie felt a bit too familiar. Cataleya's jail escapes mirrored Mission Impossible, her fights seemed like Guy Ritchie retreads, and so on. Colombiana definitely brings the action, but somehow lacks the punch."
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