As an action genre film, Colombiana is just a bit above average. Even though dialogue is one-dimensional and stunted and even though the plot is as predictable as the next cookie from the cookie cutter, the elaborate scenes of Zoe Saldana sneaking through ducts and hanging from ledges to assassinate her next target are really fun to watch.
When Cataleya was nine years old, her gangster father and mother were gunned down by the evil Don Luis and his henchman Marco in her native Colombia. Naturally, she spends the rest of her formative years learning the intense tradecraft of ‘killer’ so one day she may exact revenge on those two. She develops expertise in disguise, weaponry, munitions, and reading blueprints. Her extended family in Chicago takes all of this in with no surprise and becomes her agency who finds her the next target to take out.
Zoe Saldana as Cataleya does not have to do very much acting on screen; blank, intense stares are most of what is required but so are a lot of stretching, kicking, and climbing. I also had to keep reminding myself I was watching Saldana instead of Thandi Newton; these two girls could be twins. For whatever reason, the Colombians in the movie speak English which was a poor choice by the director. I would have enjoyed some subtitles much more than the ridiculous bad acting from these gentlemen who sound like they do not like speaking English very much. The authenticity would have helped as well. Cataleya also has a string along love interest to take some pressure off of her real job. Alias alum Michael Vartan gets a few scenes but it is thankless work.
There truly is not very much to Colombiana. Do not see it for the script, the acting, the plot, or the scenery. See it to appreciate writer Luc Besson’s intriguing and original set ups when it comes time for Cataleya to mop up the bad guys.