Starring: Zoe Saldana, Michael Vartan, Callum Blue & Jordi Molia
Running time: 108 minutes
Directed By: Olivier Megaton
Written By: Luc Besson & Robert Mark Kamen
Luc Besson is well known for his typical assassin films such as Leon, Nikita, and Taken. Colombiana fits in this category so if you are going to see this film as you believe it will be something new and original then turn back now as that is not what you are going to get. However if you decide to watch this with a loose thinking cap on then I have to say you will be thoroughly entertained because I certainly was.
It is not the greatest film ever to be released and it isn't Besson's best film either. The story he is written up here is fairly simple to follow and you won't be scratching your head trying to figure it out, but you may be scratching it with some odd plot points that seem to disappear half way through. The film then begins in 1992 where we meet an assassin in Colombia. He tells his boss that he is done with the assassin game and wants to spend time with his family; however the boss doesn't accept this and kills his former assassin and his wife in front of their daughter. Before they were killed however they managed to explain to their daughter what to do if they were killed, which involves taking a microchip to the police and getting herself to her Uncle's in America. After a chase through Bogota, the young girl manages to escape, hand the chip in at the Embassy, and be shipped to America where she meets her Uncle and promises to train to be the best hit woman and gain revenge.
Catalaia, the young girl, grows up to be Zoe Saldana and is a hit woman for hire bossed by her Uncle. However on the side she is slowly picking off the members of the gang who killed her parents, and leaving them with a wild orchid painted on their chests in order to tell the big boss that she is coming for him. The first hit we witness her doing brings the attention of the FBI and we are introduced to a typical agent whose job it is to stop the killer in their tracks.
The story is very simple. It is a typical revenge thriller with a couple of side twists thrown in to try and make it a little more thoughtful. However it doesn't need to be any more thoughtful because Colombiana is at its most fun when it is just mindless action. There are a lot of inconsistencies to overlook to enjoy it though. Such as a grown woman hiding in extremely large ventilation ducts which seem to lead into each prison cell in a heavily guarded prison, but if you can get past this you will completely enjoy watching the gorgeous Zoe Saldana look incredibly sexy waltzing round in skin tight, or minimal, clothing clasping onto an assault rifle which looks way too big for her to be carrying.
That is where the film is at its best; when we are simply admiring Zoe doing her thing. She is very good in the role and really packs a punch quite literally. The tagline is 'revenge is beautiful' and that is captured very well with Saldana doing her stuff. Saldana and the major actions set pieces are the reasons to watch this film.
With the few positives of the film there are negatives. There are too many characters that are just pointless and simply there to fill a gap. Take for example the love interest of Catalaia. He does inadvertadly do wrong by her but the character is never fleshed out and it is hard to believe he would sympathise with her when he realises she is a cold blooded assassin. The FBI agent is also highly clichéd, and Catalaia's Uncle is told to have had a son who was killed but that thread is quickly quashed and nothing else is said. This is the same with the chip at the beginning which is never mentioned again, but I do presume it is a list of the people involved in assassination and these people then become protected by the CIA after this. This is something I have guessed at, and something I've only thought of whilst writing this review, as nothing is mentioned of it again. It also seems slightly odd that the top gangsters in Colombia are protected by the CIA so I have simply put two and two together. It is a bit weird not to have this strand fleshed out considering how simple the rest of the plot is.
Anyway this film has a few positives and quite a few negatives. For mindless action this is a top film but if you take that away it is nothing. As a matter of fact the action was going to give Colombiana quite a good score from me, until the final act where the action became a little cheesy and clichéd, which ruined it slightly. For a bit of fun watch this film, and if you know much about Besson or Director Olivier Megaton than you will know exactly what to expect before you even sit down to watch it.
3 / 5
Next film to review: REAL STEEL