All her life the only thing Cataleya has known is death. As a child, her parents were involved in the drug business which led them to an untimely death, right in front of her eyes. Since then she has been training as an assassin preparing for the day she would have her revenge on those who ruined her life. More than a decade later, her time has finally come for her to extract her vengeance.
Working with her uncle, Cataleya has gracefully become one of most deadly assassin’s the world has ever seen. She’s able to gracefully sneak into any compound and dispose of whoever the target may be, regardless of the security surrounding them. Colombiana lets you know this from the start. Even as a child, she has this coldblooded attitude towards others. She’s always focused and nothing will get in the way of her goal. It’s a shame then, that for practically the entire film you can’t take her seriously.
Zoe Saldana plays the ruthless bombshell and she plays the role well. Unfortunately that role requires her to pull of this amazing assassination one moment and then do her best stripper dance while suggestively eating ramen noodles the next. The film makes it very clear that she is a sexy woman first and a killer second. It seems every other scene involves her either having sex or running around with barely anything on. It gets to beyond the point of ridiculousness when we see her carry a sniper rifle that’s as tall as she is (and probably weighs just as much) in nothing but panties and a tank top. Is that really necessary?
Another thing wrong with the film is that you can’t really develop a connection with her character. This isn’t just some little girl who randomly had her parents murdered and is out to get revenge. All her family members are criminals. It’s hard to feel sorry for her when you know they all had it coming to them sooner or later.
The assassinations themselves are pretty sophisticated and interesting but that isn’t enough to drive the film forward. For every step in the right direction, something else happens that sets it two steps back. As a child, we see her uncle pull out a gun and start firing at a car, killing the driver, in an attempt to teach Cataleya a lesson. He doesn’t have a care in the world about it and it seems the crowd around them doesn’t either because nothing really happens. He just kills a guy and goes on with the day as if nothing ever happened. Whatever.
It’s things like this that make Colombiana laughable the whole time. If you do take a chance and see this film, don’t go in with high expectations or you will be severely disappointed. It’s a futile attempt at making Saldana the next Jason Bourne or Evelyn Salt. The potential way there, but somehow Cataleya managed to assassinate herself before it could be reached.