Reviews: Colombiana



Colombiana is a poorly constructed action movie that doesn't satisfy even baser desires for me. The tagline from a critic reads "a scandalous blend of action, sex and violence". While you will receive all three of these, it is neither exciting nor thought-provoking. I wasn't expecting the movie to be a high-brow, deeply philosophical treatise on the nature of man, but even the action sequences and fan service were uninspiring and insincere. Zoe Saldana is a beautiful woman with strong acting skills, but the whole "sexy, deadly assassin" archetype she adopts just does not work. I wasn't titillated by the sight of Saldana running around vent shafts in her underwear. The movie was heavily trite, and it feels as if Besson and company just slapped it together and expected its self-declared coolness and sexiness to sustain the plot and so-called character development

The plot is bare-bones, Cateleya is hugely unsympathetic, and the supporting characters operate as designated set pieces rather than 3-dimensional, independent beings. It feels as though the movie was made with action and fan service as the priority and the plot as a distant afterthought. I'm not opposed to raunchy excuses for sex and guns, but the sex and guns need to be satisfying when occupying the space of script writing. Cateleya is not very effective as an assassin. Her techniques are garish, wasteful and conspicuous. Her fighting skills and choice of weapons are a grocery list of action cliches from the last 20 years. Cateleya is also, to put it bluntly, a bitch. She ignores sound advice from her family, she is excessively bitter, capricious, and has little regard for the law. I get that her parents were killed by a mob boss because daddy wanted out of the business, but her father wasn't exactly a saint. Cateleya's myopic interest in avenging her family interferes with my ability to emotionally connect wit her enough to cheer when she accomplishes her goal. She's not trying to help starving families in Colombia or uncover a conspiracy. She just wants presumably bad people dead, not once seeming to realize how hypocritical the whole journey comes off. The law enforcement community is portrayed as idiotic, but if they actually followed realistic security procedures, Cateleya would have been incarcerated long ago.