Saturday, September 17, 2011


Year: 2011
Director: Olivier Megaton
Cast: Zoe Saldana, Jordi Molla, Lennie James, Michael Vartan, Cliff Curtis

Plot: A female assassin seeks revenge against the men who killed her parents.

Review: I wasn't initially keen on seeing Colombiana, mainly because I had trouble in buying the idea of Zoe Saldana being a woman that kicks ass. I didn't watch The Losers so really, I wouldn't know. And now that I've seen this film, I can say she is pretty decent in that department.

Colombiana is supposedly a follow up to La Femme Nikita for Luc Besson, who is producing this film and having Transporter 3 director Olivier Megaton calling the action. It's the same premise more or less: sexy female that kills with ease. The fact that Saldana doesn't look like she's strong enough to be deadly actually works in her favour.

One of the best scenes in the film is when she infiltrates a police lockup just so that she can get close to her target. She eliminates him without the police even knowing she was in his cell. It's good, even though it seemed too perfect. Megaton and Besson repeatedly try to show how smooth she is by getting herself out of trouble without breaking a sweat, when the best part is actually the climax when she invades the villains' mansion for the final showdown.

The problem with Colombiana is the gaping plotholes, like how she does her job and escapes perfectly without a snag every time. I know she's good at what she does and plans for every contingency, but at the end of the day, she's still a human being, and she ought to screw up somewhere to make things interesting. The zero room for error that Besson presents here makes her look unstoppable, which isn't realistic. Then there's the relationship she has with Michael Vartan's artist character, which seems superbly underdeveloped, since he neglects to get to know her until after he sleeps with her a few times. Really? Come on. And the opening scene of the film just screams of overacting.

But to Saldana's credit, she successfully carries the film as best she can, doing a good job in the fight scenes and emoting when necessary (promo posters over here included a tagline saying she's a stone cold she's not. The T-1000 is a stone cold killer). Cliff Curtis provides some solid support as her uncle who trains her in her craft. Lennie James gets the lawman role here, but Michael Rooker did it better in The Replacement Killers, and that's not saying much.

All in all, a decent action film. But it could have been better. (3.5/5)

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