At least Zoe Saldana has the Avatar and Star Trek franchises. Her latest attempt to lead a film all by herself is yet another forgettable action movie, following in the vein of The Losers and Takers. Colombiana has its moments but suffers from a sluggish screenplay and uninspired directing by Olivier Megaton.
Colombiana is a revenge flick, where Saldana plays an attractive assassin who is hunting the men who murdered her family when she was a little girl. The rest of the plot doesn't really matter, though screenwriters Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen insert an awkward romantic relationship into the story to give further excuses to have Saldana take her clothes off. In a PG-rated way, unfortunately.
Colombiana is a revenge flick, but it doesn't feel like one. The movie surprisingly lacks intensity, as does its lead character. Saldana looks great in skin-tight black outfits, white outfits and other, more revealing outfits, but doesn't bring much anger or emotion to the role. I can't recall the last time a revenge film featured such a boring protagonist.
The movie has a few elaborate action sequences, namely one early on where we're introduced to a grown-up Saldana who poses as a drunk driver to infiltrate a jail where one of her targets is being held. The sequence is crafty and well executed.
Unfortunately, most of the action is choppy, thanks to strange editing by Camille Delamarre, who also worked on Megaton's Transporter 3. The result is several sequences that appear to be accelerated for the sake of making the action look faster and more furious, but that lack real punch. Megaton needs to learn to let his action breathe and to build suspense leading up to such scenes; he rushes into the action, ruining what could be decent stunts and choreography.
Lacking great action, Colombiana is unable to gloss over its sluggish plot. The movie is bogged down by an unnecessary romantic subplot which really doesn't fit with the rest of the story. Even worse, a big plot turn revolves around her innocent boyfriend inadvertently notifying the FBI - via phone message - to her location. It's one of the dumber plot gimmicks ever put to film.
Colombiana just feels overly long and slow at times, despite several large action sequences. There have been many worse action movies over the years, but Colombiana lacks real thrills and fails to evoke a true sense of revenge.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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