I’ll start by saying that I enjoyed this movie. There are reasons, but most of them have to do with Zoe Saldana wearing panties and tank tops while firing guns way too big for her. It’s basically an hour and forty-seven minutes of Zoe running and gunning and that is beautiful.
That being said, this isn’t a great film.
It’s another Luc Besson vehicle so it’s not at all surprising. Yes, Luc Besson, the guy behind such classics as Transporter, Transporter 2, Transporter 3 and From Paris with Love. He is the father of the vacuous actioner starring some European dude (mostly Jean Reno) and some hot chick (mostly Milla Jovovich).
Let’s not forget that this is the guy who made La Femme Nikita, Leon, and Wasabi. He also helped write Taken. You didn’t see that movie starring Liam Neeson? Where he killed a bunch of guys who kidnapped his daughter? If you’ve never seen it, go out right this second and get a copy. This man knows how to frame an action sequence. Better than Michael Bay knows how to pan a camera up a women’s leg.
The action is really the only point of this film. The main character, Cataleya (Zoe Saldana), is an assassin from Columbia (hence the title, get it?). Her father works for a drug lord. When he decides to quit, the drug lord has him killed. The girl survives the massacre (by nailing a guy’s hand to a table and jumping out a third story window) and grows up to become an assassin who starts a campaign to find and kill the drug lord (I honestly don’t even remember his name).
If you were hoping for any depth, you can stop looking. There is none. There’s not even any real sense of culture in the film, no reason it should be called “Columbiana” other than the fact that it ostensibly starts there and some of the characters make like they have a funny accents (New Zelander Cliff Curtis’ Hispanic gangster is unintentionally hilarious). The movie could have started anywhere in the world and it wouldn’t have been much different. They could have called it “Kiwi” and Curtis wouldn’t have had to change his voice at all.
Me, I got exactly what I was expecting: Zoe Saldana looking gorgeous (though someone should really get her a sandwich) and packing heat. If that’s what you’re looking for, then maybe this would be a good choice for movie night.