The Griff

Movie review: Colombiana

Culture

Movie review: Colombiana

In the movie Colombiana, 10-year-old Cataleya (Zoe Saldana), witnesses the harsh murder of her parents by a drug lord. After a series of suspenseful events, Cataleya ends up moving from Bogota, Colombia to Chicago, Illinois with her uncle. The movie skips forward to when an older Cataleya is an assassin, refusing to rest until she avenges her parents.

I watched Colombiana when it hit theaters back in 2011, and was overjoyed when the film arrived on Netflix. I find Zoe Saldana to be a very convincing actress, and her performance in Colombiana was true to form. The little girl that plays Cataleya in the beginning of the movie was also amazing; I want to be as independent as that character when I grow up. IMDb states that the movie is a triple threat of action, thriller, and drama. Even after all these years and the numerous times I have watched the movie, it still manages to get my heart pumping. The writers and directors (Luc Besson and Olivier Megaton) of the show did a great job of making the character of Cataleya complex and believable as a person; she has flaws and ticks that absolutely reflect a person who has experienced major childhood trauma. The movie also has a lot of foreshadowing that viewers are able to tie together at the end and truly get a kick out of. 

One of the best parts of this movie, in my opinion, is a scene in the beginning where Cataleya’s uncle convinces her to go to school in order to be a proper assassin. I have not watched scenes like that like in many assassin movies; often times a gun is put into a person’s hands and then years later they are the perfect killing machine. In Colombiana, the character Cataleya has to go to school, go through the training and do many other hit jobs before she attempts to kill the person who has been her main priority all along. Saldana’s character usually goes through with her jobs as invisible as possible and the directors show the tactics behind her meticulous work. 

The movie received 6.4/10 rating on IMDb, so there are some mixed reviews. As much as I love Colombiana, I am aware that it has flaws. The two main antagonists are quite the stereotypical, almost cheesy, bad guys. Both Marco and Don Luis (played by Jordi Mollà and Beto Benites, respectively) have arrogant personalities, their henchmen all have large guns, and they shoot at everything that moves. There are some scenes that are far-fetched and predictable, and I recall one scene with CGI sharks that looks so fake it embarrasses me. But in defense of one of my all-time favourite movies, the film came out in 2011 and the technological side of movies has come a very long way since then.

This movie may be on the older side, but by no means is it outdated.