Movie review of Colombiana.
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If there is one takeaway from Colombiana, it is this: Zoe Saldana has one great body. Make no mistake about it: Saldana and her lithe figure are the stars of Colombiana. Director Olivier Megaton makes a point of capturing Saldana’s figure in the best possible light in every scene, and no matter what may be exploding around her, he makes sure she looks fantastic. (An aside: Megaton is a great last name for an action movie director).
Trekkies who discovered Saldana as Uhura in the Star Trek reboot certainly noticed her right away, and whether they knew it or not, the masses took notice of her beauty immediately in her role as Neytiri in Avatar. Colombiana is her first real starring vehicle, and the fans whose interest was piqued already will enjoy seeing her as a gun-toting assassin in Lara Croft regalia.
Saldana plays Cataleya (she may also play a character called Colombiana – the movie’s title is never quite explained), the daughter of a family with ties to organized crime in Bogotá. Her parents are killed, and like a female Colombian Bruce Wayne, she swears revenge. Unlike Batman and more like The Joker, she enters a life of crime. Specifically, she becomes a highly-skilled assassin, leaving drawings on her targets to try and attract the attention of her ultimate target – the crime lord who had her parents killed.
The more apropos Batman villain to compare her to is of course Catwoman – Cataleya wears many a skin tight outfit (cat burglar suits, tank tops, shorts that ride up, etc.), and even as a young girl, has mad athletic skills (the young athletic Cataleya is played very well by an actress named Amandla Stenberg, who deserves a mention). Even though she travels in some shady circles, we’re supposed to feel some sympathy for Cataleya and not think of her as a villain. For all she’s been through, she does love her family, and it seems she only really kills guys who have it coming. When she does, it’s in some well-shot and sometimes inventive action sequences.
Interestingly, for an action movie about an assassin that plays to its star’s sexuality, Colombiana is not terribly gratuitous. She shoots people in the head, blows things up and even feeds a guy to some sharks – yet we don’t get a lot of blood, guts or gore. And even though Cataleya spends her spare time dancing, sucking on lollipops and having a purely physical relationship with the handsome Michael Vartan (Alias), we don’t have graphic sex scenes either. Megaton knows that after Avatar and Star Trek, he’s got a fantasy girl as his lead. So he stages some fantasies but leaves more to the imagination.
Otherwise, no real thinking is required – the murder “plots” are not that complex – in fact, a couple of mysteries from the beginning of the movie remain unresolved. Detail isn’t terribly important – consider: the murder of Cataleya’s parents takes place in 1992. For some reason, the adult action takes place “15 years later.” That would be 2007, not 2011. Yet characters have the very latest smartphones and a CIAagent has a picture of Barack Obama on his wall. Colombiana is less about twists and turns than it is its star’s curves. It’s action movie eye candy.
More on Colombiana:
Release Date/s: August 26, 2011 (Showtimes & Tickets)
Distributor: Sony Pictures
CAST and CREW FOR Colombiana
Starring: Zoe Saldana, Jordi Molla, Lennie James with Michael Vartan, Cliff Curtis, Amandla Stenberg, Callum Blue and Max Martini
Directed By: Olivier Megaton
Written By: Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen
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 parents’ deaths.
Trailer for Colombiana: