Synopsis: In the action film Colombiana, Zoe Saldana plays Cataleya, a young woman who has grown up to be an assassin after witnessing the murder of her parents as a child. Turning herself into a professional killer and working for her uncle, she remains focused on her ultimate goal: to hunt down and get revenge on the mobster responsible for her parentsâ deaths.
Release Date: August 26, 2011 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Action, Thriller
Zoe Saldana stars in Colombiana, an action thriller where she plays a sexy hard-bodied assassin with a killer smile, and a killer shot named Cataleya. Saldana’s Cataleya is the only draw, and success, in Colombiana; and a piece of eye candy who can sleuth her way around with ease is not enough to sustain the entire film.
Beginning in the year 1992 in Bogota, Colombia, the viewer is introduced to a young Cataleya as her father is ultimately going to be killed by the Cartel leader Don Luis. In a sappy, poorly acted and directed scene between her father and young Cataleya (Amandla Stenberg), certain items are given to her that will inevitably be her “passport” to a new life in Chicago with her Uncle. As her father and mother grab their weapons and go to face the goons awaiting them Cataleya watches and listens in horror as her parent’s are slaughtered. Her turn, is next, or so it would appear but only Luc Besson (screenwriter of Taken and The Transporter) would/could write the events that transpire for the next few minutes. Young Cataleya goes on the attack, and on the run, avoiding the scared girl trapped in an emotion-fueled bubble one expects. Cataleya jumps out of windows, swings herself down buildings, and jumps and falls like a pro throughout the streets of Bogota as she runs to escape her would-be assassins. Besson displays his love for the action scene, and his commonality with placing the out-of-the-ordinary character in an extraordinary situation with fantastic results. This fast-paced scene sets up the rest of the film and expectations suddenly run high for what is coming next with the grown up Cataleya–but nothing ever reaches the height or excitement of this initial scene.
Leaving 1992 behind, it’s now 15 years later. Having found her way to Chicago as a child, and eagerly expressing her desire to become a killer to her uncle when she grows up, Cataleya is indeed a killer–a fact you soon find out, as well as the creative signature she places on her victims. Cataleya is not killing those who hurt her family, as would be the common story choice. She is actually an assassin for hire, who uses her victims in order to get close to the man she desperately wants to kill, Don Luis. While this can be seen as a creative twist it actually inhibits the story from being a great revenge tale. The majority of the film follows Cataleya as she kills a couple marks in creative ways, but there is no direct build-up in her revenge plot. She lives as a phantom, and it is only because of the FBI releasing a photo that Don Luis even knows she is still alive. The revelation of her existence gives way to the CIA and FBI getting involved in Cataleya’s life, as well as the useless boy toy of a character played by Michael Vartan. The entire film feels spotty, and nothing develops enough to keep the attention of a viewer. If it were not for Zoe Saldana’s sex appeal Colombiana would be a complete bore.
Everything in Colombiana feels flat, overlooked, and the action is in desperate need of a jolt. The film does not pack the needed punch to keep the momentum flowing and the excitement up as you watch Cataleya take down the bad guys and finally get her revenge. The final climactic scene may provide a good ending to an otherwise languid stroll with a beautiful, emotionally damaged assassin, but even it shows great fault. For example, Cataleya and “” are fighting in the bathroom, without weapons. She throws a few good punches at him, and given the angle of the camera lens you can see that her hand never touches him–movie magic failure. In the same scene she grabs a couple of plastic tooth brushes and briefly uses them as weapons–really? Watching her perform her fight choreography with a pair of toothbrushes in her hands is downright ridiculous, and not in the humorous sense of the word. Making matters worse, she never even uses them to her advantage. The great fault in the action comes in the form of Cataleya’s methods of attack. She is not a come at you firing type of killer, but a sleuth. She dons a black catsuit and lurks around air ducts, elevator shafts, and basements. She is quiet, resourceful, and you do not see her coming. She also always uses these same methods every single time, providing no variety for the viewer. It is obvious she will crawl into the air duct, and then grasp onto the side of the building to hide and then get away. Same old thing, a few times over, is Colombiana.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Olivier Megaton
- Producer(s): Luc BessonRobert Mark Kamen
- Screenwriter(s): Zoe Saldana (Cataleya Restrepo)Amandla Stenberg (Young Cataleya Restrepo)Michael Vartan (Danny Delaney)
- Story: Cliff Curtis (Emilio Restrepo)
- Cast: Callum Blue (Richard)Max Martini (Special Agent Williams)Jordi Molla (Marco) Camille DelamarreRomain LacourbasPatrick Durand
- Cinematographer: Nathaniel Mechaly
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score:
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: FranceUSA