Colombiana (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner08/09/2011

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 107 mins

Poorly directed and badly written, this is a disappointing and increasingly bloated thriller that fails to sustain any actual thrills, despite a decent early set piece and a solid turn from Zoe Saldana.

What's it all about?
Directed by Olivier Megaton (Transporter 3) and co-written by Luc Besson, Colombiana begins as nine year old Colombian Cataleya (Amandla Stenberg) witnesses the brutal murder of her parents and promptly goes on the run. Escaping to the United States, she's taken in by her uncle Emilio (Cliff Curtis), who trains her as a kick-ass assassin when she announces her intention to find and kill the gangsters who murdered her parents.

Fifteen years later, Cataleya (now played by Zoe Saldana) is an assassin-for-hire who works for her uncle while secretly taking out a string of bad guys connected to her ultimate targets. However, her latest hit brings her to the attention of dogged Detective Ross (Lennie James), who's determined to take her down.

The Good
Saldana is fine as Cataleya, though the script doesn't call for her to do much other than wear a series of tight-fitting outfits, kick a few asses and scowl a lot, usually all at the same time. Sadly, the film's only real highlight is an early jailbound murder sequence, after which it completely runs out of ideas.

The Bad
The main problem is that the poorly written script gets completely bogged down with entirely superfluous characters, such as Colombiana's blander-than-bland love interest (Michael Vartan) and whoever Callum Blue is supposed to be (he's a CIA agent or something, not that it matters), both of whom could be removed from the film without making any discernible difference to the plot.

On top of that, the script struggles to find the right tone and is often unintentionally hilarious or just downright stupid, such as when Emilio shoots someone in broad daylight to illustrate to Cataleya (still nine) what being an assassin will actually mean. Similarly, the film peaks too soon with its prison hit sequence and the subsequent action scenes are extremely dull, to the point where you wish she'd just hurry up and get on with it.

Worth seeing?
Despite solid work from Saldana, Colombiana isn't anywhere near as much fun as it should have been, thanks to a badly written script, poor direction and a series of superfluous supporting characters. Basically, if it's a kick-ass chick you want, rent Hanna on DVD instead.

Film Trailer

Colombiana (12A)
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Content updated: 22/08/2018 07:57

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