This movie is a new flavor to a treat we’ve had before. A woman who has lost loved one’s and becomes an assassin/killer. Here though we get a little more of a complete story problem is there are many bumps in the road of the way to the end. We open on a man who basically quits a Colombian drug cartel in 1992. Once he gets home he quickly realizes he is not going to live through this. He gives his daughter a computer chip and two addresses, one of the those is the American embassy and a location in Chicago. Seconds later gun men enter and kill him and his wife. Looking for the computer chip one of the drug cartel leaders tries to talk the little girl into giving it over to them. In an amazing scene the girl escapes them in a fantastic moment of action. From there the girl goes to the embassy, hands over the chip and is allowed to go to the United States.
The girl, Cataleya, finds her uncle played by Cliff Curtis who is a killer and an enforcer. After staying the night she finds out her uncles son was murdered. He tells her he hunted down and killed everyone involved. The girl then tells him she wants to be a killer and he says “okay”… Wait… Okay? A nine year old girl tells you she wants to be a killer and that’s all you say? This is one major problem this movies faces is the transition from little Cataleya to the older one played by Zoe Saldana. After the odd “okay” scene we watch as her uncle pays for her to get into an upper class school. Outside she throws her back pack down and says the school is pointless, has nothing to do with what she wants to do, which is kill. Annoyed her uncle pulls out a gun and randomly shoots a car passing by, the car crashes and a dozen witnesses scream and stand around. He the decides to give her a lecture. Telling her that being a killer is easy but you’ll die within a couple of years. Being smart will keep you alive longer. She takes her back pack instead of taking his gun. Then the police arrive and she and her uncle stroll down the street. This scene is odd and is out of place. It either was trying to be funny, or the filmmakers were trying to get a point across that the police in 90’s were horrible.
From here we follow adult Cataleya as she goes on killing off bad dudes. These scenes are great mainly because she uses her smarts to get to her targets. These scenes are great but don’t have any connection to the plot. That is the major problem for the film. Some things don’t work. She is an assassin who takes out random bad guys around the world. Yet she leaves a calling card with each victim hoping the police will release this to the press and that maaaaybe the Colombian drug cartel would figure this out. It’s farfetched and seems odd that an amazing assassin would struggle so hard to get a point across to a drug cartel. The filmmakers also play with a concept that should have been a major focus. The police could have easily been on her trail if they didn’t write off the fact that she was a woman. Sexism should be a key part to films like this. Yet once the drug cartel sees her calling card they instantly assume it’s her trying to get to them. Because that’s what I would think too I would assume that the little girl that escaped over a decade ago would be killing bad guys around the world.
Thankfully the final act is so much fun that these little things can actually be ignored and over looked. Her attack on the drug cartel is amazing and plays against what we’re used to in action movies. Also the final piece that makes this movie strong is Zoe Saldana. She is perfect for the role and she takes the character deeper than I think these types have been portrayed before. Her anger is realistic but she masks it and it makes seem real. Without her Colombiana would be your run of the mill action film. I hope this movie pumps her up into an A-lister because she has the talent.
I also like the director Olivier Megaton, Transporter 3 was horrible but his other films have been strong. Here he does a lot well and frankly the only problem is the film should have been rated R. Like the film Taken, the action could have been stronger if the studio allowed the filmmamkers to have the option to have the action stand out. Still Megaton made a strong action film here that could have been run of the mill but strived to be more.