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Colombiana Blu-Ray Review & Movie Trailer

Review Date: January 8, 2012 at 4:30 PM

DVD Release Date: December 20, 2011

Review by Compay for LatinRapper.com

 

Starring: Zoe Saldana, Michael Vartan, Callum Blue, Jordi Mollà, Lennie James, Cliff Curtis, Beto Benites, Jesse Borrego

 

Colombiana movie review

If you've ever wondered how Matilda from "The Professional" would have turned out had she become an assassin, Colombiana answers that question.  Produced and co-written by Luc Besson, the French writer and director responsible for the previously mentioned cult classic, Colombiana delivers a tale of vengeance served up in violent fashion. 


Colombiana follows the story of Cataleya, a beautiful but equally dangerous morena who finds herself in America after tragedy befalls her family in Bogota.  Cataleya, portrayed by actress Zoe Saldana of Avatar fame, is driven by the desire to avenge the death of her parents.

 

The best part about Colombiana on Blu-Ray is that the visuals are stunning.  The film was shot in Mexico, America and France, and the directing coupled with rich colors makes for a great watch. 

 

If you're an action junkie, Colombiana certainly delivers.  The film's style is similar to that of 2010's "Salt" with Angeline Jolie, filled with gunshots and plenty of physical action by the lead actress.  The film features one elaborate hand-to-hand combat sequence, which is a treat to those of us who are fans o the Bourne franchise, but it's otherwise light on action scenes in that vein.

 

Zoe Saldana, an appropriately cast Dominican-Rican actress, is sizzling hot in Colombiana.  She's incredibly sexy as the film's central character, and the Director wastes no opportunities in showing off the lithe Latina's captivating figure.  Action sequences feature a gun-toting Saldana in everything from skin-tight spandex, to body-hugging sleepwear.  Whether doing an impromptu Salsa dance in her studio apartment, to slinking around ventilation shafts in search of her victims, Cataleya is both breathtaking and capable.  The remainder of the cast is rounded out by film veterans Lennie James (Snatch), Cliff Curtis (Blow, Training Day), Jessie Borrego (Bound By Honor) and Spanish actor Jordi Mollà.

 

That being said, Colombiana is not without its faults.  Perhaps the biggest problem with the film is that the story simply isn't that interesting.  The plot itself simply isn't that original, which leaves the film to rely solely on action to keep the audience entertained.  There's also a lack of character development, which Luc Besson was able to successfully capture with The Professional.

 

One of the bigger issues that I have with the film involves Cataleya's decision to commit contract killings.  From the start of the film, the audience is made to sympathize for the young Colombiana with a seemingly rational desire to avenge her parents.  But somewhere along the way, and with absolutely no explanation why, Cataleya becomes an assassin for hire.  While it's made clear that she uses her career choice as a means of smoking out those responsible for the death of her parents, it strips away the nobility of why she wants to become a killer in the first place. 

 

In the Professional, Léon is unapologetically represented as a killer for hire.  While part of his allure is his no-women-no-kids assassin code of conduct, he evolves into a weapon of justice for Matilda.  While the contract killings in Colombiana seems relatively necessary to introduce action scenes, it still detracts from how Cataleya can rationalize the murder of people uninvolved with the death of her parents.  This may have no relevance to action junkies, but it's unfortunately one of the reasons why a film with an excellent cast will fail to achieve the cult classic status of previous Luc Besson movies.

 

Special features on the Blu-Ray include a "Making Of" segment, "Cataleya's Journey", "Assassins", "Training a Killer", and "Take the Ride."  The extras include a variety of interview clips with Saldana, director Olivier Megaton, and other members of the cast.  Actors offer interesting backstories on the shooting locations for the film, which range from New Orleans to favela-like barrios in Mexico.  The "Training a Killer" featurette also provides insight from Zoe Saldana on why the film's hand-to-hand scenes didn't fit a particular style of martial arts.

 

It's worth mentioning that Colombiana is not without a bit of controversy.  A vocal few have criticized the film for its lack of Colombian cast, and its portrayal of violence stemming from the South American country.  My opinion is that there isn't anything stereotypical or overtly negative towards Latinos in this film.  No one seemed to be particularly vocal about Angelina Jolie in Salt, or Antonio Banderas in the Mariachi franchise.  For those that consider Colombiana a negative representation of Colombia, I'm interested to know if they also spoke up for Mexicans in "Machete." 

 

I take Colombiana for what it is: an action flick that happens to have a Latina in the lead role.  It's a decent movie, albeit with a fairly predictable conclusion.  While the story itself leaves something to be desired, it's certainly worth a rent if you're a fan of action flicks.  If you're looking for what to get from your local Redbox kiosk, give Colombiana a shot. 

 

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