‘Colombiana’: ‘Taken’ without Liam Neeson

Colombiana (2011)

Directed by Olivia Megaton

6.5/10  PG-13

“Never forget where you came from.” If you’ve seen the trailer for Colombiana, the phrase might have turned you off. But I promise, the phrase is only used once in the full length of the film. From the “makers” (writer Luc Besson) of Taken, Colombiana is the latest revenge thriller from director Olivier Megaton (Transporter 3). Like most revenge thrillers, the movie focuses mainly on one character, Catalia (Zoe Saldana, Avatar) and relies mostly on violent visuals.

Killed by Columbian bad guys in Bogota (the reason was sketchy), Catalia’s parents were killed nearly fifteen years ago in front of her. Now, with the help of her uncle in Chicago, she is an experienced killer, bringing vengeance to whoever she can find that had any connection to the murders. With a FBI agent (Lennie James, The Next Three Days) on her tail, and a man-friend (Michael Vartan, Never Been Kissed) who doesn’t know her past, Catalia’s quest for the ultimate revenge is not free of roadblocks.

Most revenge thrillers, like I said before, focus on one person—naturally. They rely on visuals; shooting, chasing, blood, etc., and Colombiana is no exception. It’s the middle of the pack when it comes to these films, as it does little to set it apart in terms of creativity. Catalia is very tricky, escapes a few times, there are some lengthy chase scenes, fight scenes, merciless killings, and blood. It’s typical–which is sad, because Saldana fits the role like a puzzle piece, and she’s absolutely riveting. It’s not her fault the dialogue fell a bit short. She’s emotional (as she is in Avatar), she’s tough (as she is in 2009’s Star Trek), and she’s not too hard on the eyes (really everything she’s in, but The Losers is what I’ll choose).

Colombiana is on Blu-ray and DVD.

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