With Colombiana, pseudonymical director Olivier Megaton has what might be the dumbest movie of the year. With its incredibly lazy screenplay by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, it is a flat-lined, dull, leery miasma of worn-out action tropes and a severe lack of anything clever. The film opens with a yawn-inducing premise about a Colombian husband (Jesse Borrego) and wife (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) being offed by a crime lord (Beto Benites), only to have the couple’s daughter Cataleya (Amandla Stenberg) escape in a surprise fit of violence. The subsequent chase is well done and somewhat exciting, if unoriginal, but this is before the plot settles in. Jumping forward a couple of decades, Cataleya (now all grown up and played by Zoe Saldana) has been trained as a killer and is now in the hitman business with her uncle (Cliff Curtis), jet-setting around the country, offing people for large sums of money. She does these jobs in incredibly convoluted, vaguely clever ways (clever in that the screenplay manhandles credulity to make it all fit), like pretending to be a drunk driver so she can sneak into jail and take care of her target. Once she’s succeeded, she leaves her calling card, a lipstick drawing on their chest of a cattleya orchid, in an attempt to draw out the Colombians who she seeks revenge against. There’s no attempt at characterization, as everyone just exists as types — the badass chick, the hunky boyfriend, the evil crime boss — mixed into a plot that’s a hodgepodge of every other action movie. All of it’s just an excuse for a hot chick to carry around a big gun.
Director: Olivier Megaton
Writer: Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen
Cast: Zoe Saldana, Michael Vartan, Max Martini, Jordi Mollà, Lennie James, Sam Douglas, Stephen Martines, Doug Rao, Charles Maquignon and Beto Benites