Review: Colombiana (2011)

Colombiana (2011) Colombiana (2011)

As a parody, this could have been fun. As satire, it… isn’t.

The tell of a dumb movie isn’t in its idea, but in its details. The balletic grace of Zoe Saldana, as the titular assassin in a film seemingly created just for her, can’t make up for or even distract from the dopey computer screens and ’90s desktop publishing-grade newspaper props which stem from the lack of thought in everything from plot contrivances to character choices.

Case study: the druglord kingpin is overacted and clichéd as fuck – a gluttonous oaf whose cunning underworld business acumen is evidenced by his having to do nothing more than hang out with his harem of ditsy bikini models. He screams “Come to daddy!” right before he runs toward them – so was that lack of thought on the part of the character, or the screenwriters? Not before he’s “foreshadowed” the bloodthirsty… small sharks? Giant pirañas? in his glass-covered pool, which now absolutely tells us this is how he’ll die. And when he does, and we cut to an overhead shot that gives us too clear a look at the low quality CGI maneaters, which then match-cuts to – no joke – the photo on the newspaper page one story (how exactly did they get that photo?) with the headline – again, no joke – “Shark fed to sharks”.

Zoe Saldana deserves better. We all do.

As a parody, this could have been fun. As satire, it… isn’t. The Michael Bay-lite cinematography, while strikingly stylish in its lighting, colour palette and art direction, suggests the filmmakers weren’t drawing inspiration from the deepest of wells (co-screenwriter Luc Besson may have a cult following, but his body of work is mixed at best) – but hey, Bay’s movies make money, and there’s clearly an audience for those, so what do I know?

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