30 nov. 2011

My Review: Colombiana (7/10)


¨Never forget where you came from.¨

Zoe Saldana is this year`s Angelina Jolie, although instead of playing Agent Salt, she is a Colombian assassin who is set at avenging her parent`s killers. The movie is action packed and Saldana shines in her role proving she can be a lead action star. The plot is simple and we`ve seen thousands of these revenge movies, but that doesn’t mean we can`t be entertained with the premise. Colombiana isn`t a memorable film and it doesn`t add anything to the existing girl power slash revenge genre, but it is entertaining nonetheless. It is very predictable, we`ve seen the action scenes before hundreds of times, but Saldana makes the movie worth watching. She is great in her role and looks better than ever. As for the rest of the cast they were all pretty much forgettable. There weren`t any interesting villains either, everything centered towards Saldana. Director Olivier Megaton (Transporter 3) may perhaps have made his best film to date, although it won`t be very memorable. His movies are simplistic action centered films with little character development and several plot holes. This film was written by Luc Besson who in my opinion directed one of the best action films of the 90`s: Leon the Professional, but he has focused on writing now and he has had his shares of hits and misses. This is probably not one of his best efforts, but I still had a good time in the theater nonetheless thanks in most part to Zoe Saldana who was very entertaining in her Nikita-like role.

The movie begins in 1992 in a small city of Colombia where a mobster named Don Luis (Beto Benites) orders his bodyguard Marco (Jordi Molla) to kill a family because he has been betrayed by the father. Ten year old Cataleya (Amandla Stenberg) sees how these mobsters murder her parents, but somehow eludes the mobsters after her dad gives her an escape plan. She manages to arrive in Chicago where her uncle Emilio (Cliff Curtis) raises her. Emilio is a hitman, and young Cataleya asks him to teach her how to be an assassin. She wants to avenge her parents’ death. The film then jumps to the present where we see an all grown up Cataleya (Zoe Saldana) doing what she does best: killing. She has become a cold blooded assassin, but what Emilio doesn`t know is that while she is murdering her targets she is also leaving her mark in order to get the mobs attention back home. Her mark is a Cataleya orchid which is only grown in the Colombian town where she grew up. The FBI agent in charge of tracking her down is Ross (Lennie James) who has no clue as to who he is supposed to be looking for. When he finally decides to release the details of the murders to the media, the mob finally receives the message and decide it`s time to search for Cataleya. The only problem is that she has kept secluded to herself, her only contact being Emilio himself and a boyfriend with whom she barely communicates: Danny (Michael Vartan).

The movie opens with a very interesting action scene, probably the best in the film where we see the mobsters chasing the young Cataleya through the Colombian streets. Amandla Stenberg plays her character really well although she is only in the first 15 minutes, and then Saldana takes over from then. The rest of the characters are pretty much all forgettable and so are most of the action scenes. I did enjoy the movie although I know there is nothing new or original about it. Colombiana only serves to prove that Saldana can be a lead actress and that she can be great in better scripts. I enjoyed the film in the same way I enjoyed Salt, so if you didn’t like that movie than you probably won`t enjoy this one. The editing action scenes are very similar to those of The Transporter so you have a lot of cuts and sometimes the action is hard to follow. Colombiana is still an enjoyable film if you don’t go into it with much expectation.

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