Review of the recently released movie Colombiana starring Zoe Saldana.
“Revenge is a dish best served cold “ says the old saying and here you have the plot of the recently released film Colombiana. A film that is directed by Olivier Megaton ( Transporter 3 ) with screenplay written by Luc Besson ( La Femme Nikita, Leon )means that you more or less know what to expect before the film begins – good action scenes and a strong revenge/redemption theme.
The film begins in Bogota , Colombia with the father of a young girl Cataleya realising that his occupation as a drug running mobster does not carry a retirement or health plan as he speaks to his drug baron boss Don Luis ( Beto Benites ) about quitting the firm. The next scene shows the horticultural named young Cataleya ( Amanda Stenberg ) witnessing the summary execution of her parents in a shower of bullets and then being asked to hand over information given to her as “insurance” by her father .
The young Cataleya manages to escape the main henchman Marco ( Jordi Molla ) by attaching his hand to the kitchen table with a knife and then vault various walls and buildings to affect her escape from Marco and his team of thugs. You have to suspend belief slightly at this stage in order to comprehend that a young girl could give several gun toting career thugs the slip in a city well known to them but hey ,it’s a movie isn’t it ?.
The story then follows the trail of Cataleya to the American Embassy ( address given to her by her father) and her subsequent trip to the United States where she gives the Government agent the slip and heads off to Chicago to seek refuge with her uncle Emilio ( Cliff Curtis ) . Emilio takes her in and pledges to help her learn to kill (as per her request) providing she gains an education.
Roll forward fifteen years and we find a grown up Cataleya ( Zoe Saldana ) acting as a full on assassin – a contract killer for hire by day and a revenge seeker by night seeking to find redemption for her loss. And so we follow her adventures in both areas which leads to an action packed finale and showdown with Don Luis and his crew who now reside in the United States . Add in the inevitable chase by the authorities plus the peripheral love interest for Cataleya and you have the makings of a decent revenge/redemption movie .
The film features some great action sequences, a good solid performance from Saldana as a grown up Cataleya and a great performance from Lennie James as Ross the cop leading the chase for the mystery assassin . Again the fact that she leaves a drawing of the Cataleya orchid on all of her twenty plus victims is a bit of a clue – good performance by Lennie but he’s a bit slow on the uptake !!
The one main disappointment in the film is the way that in some ways it appears a bit toned down for perhaps a younger demographic – lots a great action scenes but you never really engage with the character of Cataleya or feel any empathy for her situation.
So, in summary it’s another film that I have watched this year where I have felt that more attention to the script and plot and less action scenes could have made it a much more enjoyable experience . However, I’ve seen worse in 2011 and at a relatively short 107 minutes run time this film is definitely worth watching.