Colombiana review

Saldana certainly looks hot in her underwear which she sports at numerous times during this nifty action thriller – but unfortunately she's given no character to play. As ace hitwoman Cataleya, she is responsible for the murder of 22 individuals – contract killings organised by her trusty uncle Emilio (Curtis). She despatches the offenders with style and aplomb.

Each victim has the emblem of an orchid drawn on their torsos by her. Why? Because she is sending a message to the villains who killed her parents 15 years before in Colombia when she was only nine years old. Relocating to the US at that age she goes all out to become a killer. And now has the intelligence and technology to back her up. Even her very dull lover (Vartan) is unaware of her fearsome proclivities.

Saldana moves well and comports herself in the fight scenes with energy and precision, but her face is a blank, devoid of any great characterisation or interest apart from steadfast determination. This is a shame as her childhood counterpoint at age nine is superbly played by Stenberg. For the opening 10 minutes or so she registers just the right amount of fear, perplexity and vulnerability. Once an adult she is merely a fighting machine.

The action scenes are adeptly handled, the narrative moves like the clappers and the supporting cast all play this nonsense to the hilt. If you can forget the fact that the plotting is too improbable and that some of the dialogue is laugh-out-loud funny (unintentionally so) then Colombiana is an entertaining time filler, junk food devoid of nourishment, but palatable enough if you're in the mood for kinetic thrills delivered with sleazy panache. Best to watch with many beers.

Official Site
Colombiana at IMDb

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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