Directed by Olivier Megaton
In Colombiana we meet Zoe Saldana as Cataleya, a revengeful and stone-cold assassin who has witnessed her parents’ murder as a child in Bogota. Working for her uncle as a hitman by day and gradually seeking the revenge she’d always wanted is what Cataleya’s life is all about. Colombiana, literally ‘Colombian woman’, sets out to tell the potentially riveting story of a female protagonist. Extremely flawed and bland at times is not how I imagined this movie to be at all.
Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly times when things work out pretty well. It wasn’t a huge disappointment, but it could have been so much better. It’s rare in Hollywood for a female to get the lead role in an action movie. The actress needs to be well-known and greatly skilled. Think about Angelina Jolie in Salt. In this case, Saldana was only a star on the rise in the year 2009. But I have to admit that she did a very good job in her portrayal of Cataleya. She was tough, intelligent and sexy. Frankly, Colombiana would be a complete failure without her. Parading in a Tomb Raider-like outfit, she runs, jumps, escapes, kills and spends some quality time with her fictitious uncle, excellently depicted by Cliff Curtis.
Directed by Olivier Megaton and written by Luc Besson, Colombiana has their earlier productions written all over it. If these names mean nothing to you, chances are big you’ve heard of some of their films. How about Léon: The Professional (1994) or the TV show Nikita (2010) and the classic science-fiction The Fifth Element (1997)? Ring any bells? Thought so.
Clichés you see in action flicks predominate this movie to a very large extent and that’s a real shame as it makes the story predictable to a rather disturbing degree. You will probably have heard of tats, muscle and machine guns wrapped up into a story of good old revenge — so don’t expect something original.
The other person who does not fail, but actually shines is Jordi Mollà. This Spanish personality is by all means one of my favorite all time villains. It is implausible to believe he is really acting, because his portrayal is truly immense and breathtaking in every aspect of the ‘how to be an antagonist 101’ guide. He truly is the embodiment of how Hollywood imagines a Latin-American gangster.
Filled with allround phenomenal actors, the story is a tiresome and outdated unreality forced onto the big screens. The storyline progresses quite well in the first half hour of the movie, but soon takes a predictable turn. Colombiana is a wild ride without too much of adrenaline.