Columbiana 2011

Posted: September 10, 2011 by tmepost in Movies, Reviews
Tags: , , , ,

By Sean McQuillan

Genre:  Action, Adventure, Drama

Rating: PG-13

U.S. Release Date: August 26, 2011

Run Time: 107 Mins

Cast: Zoe Saldana, Jordi Molla, Lennie James, Callum Blue, Cliff Curtis, Michael Vartan, and Beto Benites

Director: Olivier Megaton

Producer: Luc Besson

Screenplay by: Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen

Personal Rating: Matinee

In the sweltering heat of Colombia, young Cataleya is forced to witness the brutal murder of her parents as they tried to leave a cartel.  Before their death they gave her the means to escape the country to track down her long lost uncle.  Cataleya is determined to become an assassin like her father and her uncle agrees to help.  Now, ten years later, she is leaving messages with each of her kills trying to draw her parents’ killers out of hiding and complete her revenge before getting caught be the FBI which is getting ever-closer.

I did not know what to expect from Colombiana.  It has been touted by some as a female Jason Bourne, drawing comparisons to Salt or Hanna, but I feel it captures its own feel.  It does have some great action, and lots of Zoe Saldana slinking through air ducts, but the highlight for me was a free-running scene early on with young Cat.  Sadly her parkour skills, and many other assassin skills, seem to have all been learned off camera with little to no on screen justification.  Her plans often seem to rely on a little deus ex machina, such as objects being conveniently on hand, or people simply looking away at the right times.

As someone who is always excited to see a strong female lead carry a movie, I feel this was an excellent first step.  If this were to be the start of a series than this would be a respectable debut, however it lacks the punch of similar movies such as the Bourne Identity.

It might not be fair to draw so many comparisons to The Borne Identity, but during the few fight scenes that last more than a few seconds it’s very hard not to wish that the director had taken some notes on how to shoot those scenes.  One poignant fight is muted by spotty camera work, and droning out some of the sounds with music.

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