Colombiana (2011) Zoe Saldana Almost Dressed Assassin

Colombiana 2011 poster
Watching the 2011 film Colombiana again, I noticed that Zoe Saldana as assassin tends to be “almost dressed” in most of her killing scenarios if not throughout most of the film. Not having access to the original Luc Besson script leaves the viewer wondering why bad apples must be killed with the star exhibiting either copious amounts of bare leg or exhibiting erect nipples. With no real reason for her attire, apart from the all back leotard worn by Saldana’s character, Cataleya, when she executes the chap in jail, it seems that the director was intent on utilizing Zoe’s innate and natural sexiness to cover a multitude of sins.

Not to complain, Saldana is gorgeous, even her Avatar character Neytiri was beautiful and that was a CG construct of the actress, but director Olivier Megaton (Transporter 3, Taken 2 & 3) does seem to overdo it a bit. The Colombiana director may be trying to make up for his lack of finesse in the fighting scenes. If one reads the message boards at IMDb, Megaton is not a popular choice for action films and the vitriol spewed about the final fight scene between Cataleya and Marco in the bathroom in Don Louis’s CIA safe house, is pretty impressive.

More impressive in fact than the fight scene itself according to the complainers. Despite overall disappointment in the battle, the film itself is pretty entertaining. The first part dealing with the young Cataleya seeing her mother and father shot to rag doll ribbons by Don Louis’ Marco and company. The child then slams a razor sharp knife in Marco’s hand before telling him she wants his boss dead before escaping Parkour style out of the flat window.

After An exciting chase through the city the 11 year old makes her way to Chicago and her tio, uncle, who she asks to train her as a killer. Fast-forward 15 years and Cat has grown up into Zoe Saldana and she is busily assassinating bad guys while working as a tag serial killer to flush Don Louis out of hiding.

The film has a great cast and it was fun seeing Callum Blue, aka Mason in Dead Like Me, as the CIA jerk who does not want to help anyone out until the female assassin has him in her sights. While Colombiana is entertaining it is not overly so.

This may be down to Olivier Megaton’s inability to orchestrate action scenes with a believable edge or it could just be that Luc Besson should direct his own films. Either way, the actors do an adequate job performing their various roles. None more so than the young girl who played the juvenile version of Cataleya, Amandla Stenberg. This young lady acts her little cotton socks off in her first film role. This same youngster went on to melt hearts with her performance as the doomed, and plot important, Rue in the 2012 film The Hunger Games. She is now working on television’s Mr. Robinson as a series regular.

It is the “discovery” of Stenberg that may well be the best part of Colombiana. Not to dismiss Saldana’s work as the grown Cataleya. I enjoyed the movie quite a lot and felt that despite Megaton’s apparent “hatchet” job on the fight scenes, the actress performed well in the awkwardly shot scenes.

This one is a 3.5 out of 5 stars and could have been a full four but for the fight scenes and the fact that Amandla was not in more of the film. Not to mention that Zoe could have been a bit more covered up when working as the killer later on. We know that the woman is a beauty there was no real need for so much attention to her great figure, not that her fans did not appreciate the “show,” it still made no apparent sense.

12 May 2015

Michael Knox-Smith

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