Colombiana (2011)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Colombiana</strong> (2011)

(On Cable TV, April 2012) If anyone in the world has earned the right to write yet another female assassin movie, it’s probably Luc Besson.  Besson’s not a particularly gifted screenwriter, but as a director he did help popularize the female-assassin stereotype in movies such as Nikita. Colombiana is another riff on a familiar concept: As a young girl’s parents are murdered by a drug lord, she vows revenge and dedicates her life to becoming a killing machine.  The story picks up years later as she nears her vengeance.  The rest is simply a series of kill-sequences noisily arranged by director Olivier Megaton, from a script by Besson and Robert Mark Kamen.  While some of their previous collaborations such as Transporter 3 were terrible even by B-movie standards, Colombiana is closer to Taken in understanding the mechanics of the action-thriller genre and delivering the formula in an energetic fashion.  It helps that Zoe Saldana has the lithe physique and feral intensity required by the role: Colombiana wouldn’t be as good without her intensely physical performance.  The cinematography, at least, is a bit more ambitious than usual and the result is a slick action movie.  It may not avoid a bit of stupidity around the edges, but it’s put together with some competence and doesn’t overstay its welcome once the overlong prologue is done.   Big guns, big explosions, original executions all point a little bit too much as set-piece-driven carnography, but fans of B-grade action movies will understand the game being played here.  The result is potable.

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