Original review featured on The Doha Film Institute website.

Director: Olivier megaton
Stars: Zoe Saldana, Michael Vartan and Callum Blue
Genre: Action, Thriller, Drama

Colombiana is a French-American action film produced by Luc Besson and starring Zoe Saldana (previously in Avatar) and Michael Vartan.

In Bogota, Colombia, Cataleya (Zoe Saldana and Amandla Stenberg) witnesses the assassination of her parents. This incident forces her to flee to the United States and turns her into a cold-hearted killer who works for her hit-man uncle. During the day, she does what’s required for the job, but devotes the rest of her time to a scheme of crimes, which she hopes will attract the gangster who killed her parents. Her frequent killings serve as a warning that revenge is about to take place.

Back in Bogota, the mafia world decided to eliminate Cataleya’s father. Aware of his imminent death, he hands a chip and two addresses to his daughter. The chip holds valuable information and needs to be given to the US ambassador so she can get a US passport. The address is that of her uncle.

Cataleya shows early signs of rebellion and remarkable fighting skills when managing to escape those who were also trying to kill her. As soon as she lands in the United Stares, she escapes authorities to go and meet her uncle. Before going to school, she asks her uncle to help her become a killer; a ravenous need for revenge seems to have overtaken her.

She grows up to become a cute yet ferocious assassin who wears a black catsuit and is utterly fearless. With 22 crimes under her belt, she tries to get the police to publish them in the press. It takes the police some time to understand that the killer wants the message to reach someone in particular. She kills corrupt people very skilfully, with perfect and almost impossible timings. She then leaves her victims with the drawing of a flower on their chest; this flower is a ‘Cataleya’, a Colombian flower and a direct message to her lifelong enemies.

Soon, those responsible for the murder of her parents get the message and deeply regret leaving this child alive. They anticipated that revenge would soon be knocking on their doors but probably underestimated the intensity of her hate towards them. And so the battle between the different forces of evils begins…

She is dark, pretty and smart. Her assets don’t go unnoticed and the film wouldn’t be complete without a romance. She shows up to her lover’s apartment discreetly and leaves before he even notices. He knows little about her, except the fact that she might sneak in anytime. He serves as a catalyst to her soft image against her strong-headed and assassin look.

Even though Luc Besson’s presence as a producer and co-writer of ‘Colombiana’ adds a different spice of French flare to the film, you shouldn’t expect more than action-filled entertainment.

Besson’s inclination towards women-empowering action pictures doesn’t make for a dreadful film, as some may have claimed. It is not his best work, but remains an action treat as long as you don’t dig too deep for details. Just sit back and enjoy the film.

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