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Colombiana is a 2011 action movie starring Zoe Saldaña, written and produced by Luc Besson. The film follows Cataleya Restrepo, daughter of a member of a Colombian cartel. Her parents were killed when she was 9, forcing her to flee to Chicago to live with her uncle. Using her uncle's tutelage and own intelligence, Cataleya becomes a beautiful and deadly assassin driven by vengeance for her parents' deaths.


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This work provides examples of:

  • 555: Delaney's mobile number shown while it's being traced.
  • Action Girl:
    • Cataleya herself. Even as a girl she's capable of surprising a hardened gangster and escaping. Then she's trained to be an expert assassin later by her gangster uncle.
    • Her mother Alicia knows how to handle a BFG as well.
  • Age-Appropriate Angst: Young Cataleya, after watching her parents killed in front of her, sheds a single tear. She doesn't really cry until much later when she gets to Tio Emilio. Justified in that she had other things to worry about at the moment. Years later though, Cataleya breaks into sobs immediately after seeing her grandmother's body.
  • Arc Words: "Never forget... Never forget where you came from."
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Cateleya sneaks through the ventilation system of the jail to get to her target. Somewhat subverted, as the vents are claustrophobically small and she has to improvise a way past a fan. Later, she uses the vents in her building to escape the FBI raid on her house.
  • Anachronism Stew:
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    • SD cards and Xena: Warrior Princess did not exist in 1992. But since it would have been harder to explain to viewers who Chun-Li is, as well as try to find a way to get Cataleya to eat a CD...
  • Asshole Victim: Ross notes that all of Catelynas victims are scumbag criminals.
  • Beautiful Dreamer: This backfires on Cataleya when her boyfriend takes a photo of her sleeping and shows it to his friend, who decides to run a check through a friend in the police department to find out who the mystery girlfriend is.
  • BFG: Try a Blaser R93 Sniper Rifle.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: While Marco is evil, Cataleya is an assassin.
  • Break-In Threat: The ponzi guy wakes up amidst his sleeping Paid Harem to find the word THIEF and an orchid (the assassin's Calling Card) painted on his chest. He then finds all his bodyguards have been murdered. It gets worse.
  • Cacophony Cover Up: A SWAT team is raiding the protagonist's apartment and makes an explosive entry; at the same time she uses an explosive charge to blow a hole through a wall to make her escape into the lift shaft.
  • Call-Back:
    • Emilio, in his Establishing Character Moment, is seen beating a man to death. Cataleya finds his body with evidence that he too suffered the same fate.
    • When Cataleya feeds the dogs early in the movie, they didn't move to eat until she commands them to "eat." Later, she feeds Sandoval to them.
  • Calling Card: Cataleya draws a cataleya orchid on her victims.
  • The Cartel: Cataleya declares war on them after they kill her family.
  • CIA Evil, FBI Good: Agent Ross of the FBI continually comes to grips against Agent Williams of the CIA, who is actively stonewalling Ross' investigation to prevent him from discovering Agency's ties to the cartel boss who killed Cataleya's parents.
  • The Commies Made Me Do It: Cataleya tells Agent Ross she'll kill a member of his family every week if he doesn't get Sandoval's location from the CIA.
  • Dirty Coward: Don Luis just quakes and trembles as he hears Cataleya kill his men.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Cutting to the outside of the van, which is rocking back and forth as Cataleya's dogs eat the cartel head.
  • Impaled Palm: When Marco asks young Cataleya what she wants, she says that she wants to kill his boss, right as she stabs his hand onto the table.
  • Improvised Weapon: The climax manages to do this with a towel and toothbrushes. And it's awesome.
  • Insecurity Camera: Played Straight in her first hit, as she's trying to frame a guard. Subverted later, since when she shoots out some cameras to hide her movement, it tells the FBI exactly where she is.
  • It Works Better with Bullets: The loan shark picks up a pair of Desert Eagles from dead guards and tries to use them on Cataleya. Turns out she emptied them beforehand. Justified, since the target wasn't a gun person and the handgun's massive weight would help disguise the lack of bullets.
  • Just a Stupid Accent/Translation Convention: The Hispanic actors hardly ever speak Spanish, even in the scenes in Colombia, but they do make sure to pronounce Spanish words correctly.
  • Kansas City Shuffle: Cataleya does one (that involves her dogs) on the Big Bad near the end of the movie.
  • Karmic Death: Willie (a sleazy businessman) is eaten by the sharks he kept beneath his swimming pool.
  • Kick the Dog: Cataleya does this by killing a gangster and framing a police guard for the murder.
  • Laser Sight: The red dot helps to let the target know she's not bluffing.
  • Le Parkour: By a 9 year old schoolgirl, no less. As well as one of the Mooks chasing her.
  • Little Miss Badass: Cataleya already showed extreme skills as a 9 year old, pinning a gangster's hand to the table then escaping his well-armed associates through Le Parkour.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Cataleya. Just count the number of times she's naked, partially naked, wet or wearing skintight clothing.
  • Not Staying for Breakfast: Cataleya always leaves her boyfriend Delaney early on the mornings after they have sex.
  • Pants-Positive Safety: A nice bit of fanservice with Cataleya dancing in her apartment with a Beretta Storm shoved in the back of her short shorts. Followed by a Shower Scene and Oral Fixation.
  • Parental Abandonment: Both of Cataleya's parents were killed in front of her by a drug baron's gunmen.
  • Pet the Dog: Cataleya looks to be going into Death Seeker territory after they kill the last of her family, until she realizes her dogs are family too, and brings them along. They get a part in the action too.
  • Playing Drunk: Cataleya does this (hilariously!) to get arrested and thrown in jail with one of her assassination targets.
  • Precious Photo: Emilio has one of his brother's (Cataleya's father) family. After passing it on to Cataleya, she treasures it a well.
  • Properly Paranoid: Cataleya empties the guns her target might use, searches an FBI agent's house for hidden cameras, and seems to have planned an air-vent escape from her apartment if it's ever raided.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
    • With a healthy side of More Dakka and a light garnishing of Guns Akimbo. Taken Up to Eleven after her last remaining relatives are killed. She dispenses with her ninja tactics, sends an RPG round through the front door and storms the place guns blazing.
    • Her uncle Emilio apparently went on one of his own after his son was killed, and admits that it did nothing for his grief.
  • Red Shirt: The men who were supposed to be guarding Cataleya and her parents in the beginning all end up getting easily gunned down by the bad guys in just a few seconds.
  • Resignations Not Accepted: Cataleya's father Fabio tried to peacefully walk away from his criminal lifestyle as an enforcer for drug baron Don Luis Sandoval. Luis acted like he would accept this before immediately sending out his gunmen to kill Fabio along with his wife and Cataleya (only she survived).
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Why would the SWAT team blow up Cataleya's front door? (In an apartment building?) They could have easily rammed it open.
  • Tempting Fate: On seeing a laser dot on his chest, the CIA Jerkass boasts that the window is armored against a direct hit from a 57mm shell. Cue warning shot fired through the glass. Damn these government contractors...
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Emilio, in an attempt to scare Cataleya out of wanting to be an assassin, casually pulls out a gun and takes potshots at a passing car. In broad daylight. In the middle of Chicago. In front of a school. No one cares that he did this.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: A friend of Danny's trying to help him find out more about Cataleya to further their romance sends her picture to a relative who works in a police station to find out more about her. Her photo going through the database alerts Ross and blows her cover.
  • Waif-Fu: Cataleya does plenty of this against The Dragon.

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