| ||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (October 2011)|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Olivier Megaton|
|Produced by||Luc Besson |
Pierre-Ange Le Pogam
|Screenplay by||Luc Besson |
Robert Mark Kamen
|Starring||Zoe Saldana |
|Music by||Nathaniel Méchaly|
|Editing by||Camille Delamarre|
TF1 Films Production
|Distributed by||EuropaCorp. Distribution|
|Release date(s)|| |
|Running time||108 minutes|
Colombiana is a 2011 French-American action film co-written (with Robert Mark Kamen) and produced by Luc Besson and directed by Olivier Megaton. The film stars Zoe Saldana in the lead role with supporting roles done by Michael Vartan, Cliff Curtis, Lennie James, Callum Blue, and Jordi Mollà.
In 1992 in Bogota, Colombia, Fabio Restrepo (Jesse Borrego) obtains incriminating information about the operation of drug lord Don Luis Sandoval (Beto Benites) that he can use to free himself from the drug trafficking business. Don Luis suspects him and sends his associate Marco (Jordi Mollà) to kill Fabio and his family. As Fabio prepares to flee, he tells his daughter Cataleya (Amandla Stenberg) to find Emilio (Cliff Curtis), Cataleya's criminal uncle in Chicago, if anything should happen to him. Soon after, Marco and his men kill Fabio and his wife. As Marco asks Cataleya for the location of the incriminating information, Cataleya stabs Marco and escapes her home, heavily pursued by Don Luis' men. She is chased to the U.S. Embassy, where she is placed on a flight to Miami. Once she arrives in Chicago, she finds her uncle Emilio, who has learned what happened to Fabio and promises to train her.
Fifteen years later, Cataleya (Zoe Saldana) works for Emilio as an assassin-for-hire. Her "mark" or signature is the Cattleya flower, after which she was named. Posing as a drunk student named Valarie Phillips in Fresno, California, she gets herself arrested for drunk-driving and is thrown into a holding cell near Genarro Rizzo (Affif Ben Badra), an heavily wanted gangster, whom she surreptitiously kills. The police, unable to determine how the crime lord was killed or by whom, release the "student" the next day.
Cataleya is having a romantic relationship with an aspiring artist named Danny Delaney (Michael Vartan) under the name of Jennifer. She is careful not to reveal too much of herself, much to his frustration. FBI Special Agent James Ross (Lennie James) examines Rizzo's body in the morgue and sees the Cattleya mark. Ross reveals that he has been tracking Cataleya for over four years, but he believes the assassin is a man and that "he" has killed at least 22 people ranging from grifter Alexa Milshinova, D'Angelo James (who tried to take over the heroine in Houston from the Gemini Cartel), and the twins that led the Gemini Cartel (who's crimes are self-explanatory). After the shark-related death of millionaire William "Willy" Woogard (Sam Douglas) on an undisclosed island in the Caribbean Sea, the FBI releases the information regarding Cataleya's calling card. Don Luis realizes the true identity of the killer. After a visit from Steve Richard (Callum Blue) who is handling Don Luis under a CIA protection program, Don Luis attempts to track down Cataleya. Danny secretly takes a photo of Cataleya while she sleeps, which finds its way into the police's facial recognition system, allowing Ross to track her down. When meeting with Emilio at the library after a night with Danny, Emilio is angry that Cataleya's recklessness has endangered herself, him and his entire family. After revealing that eight men, including one of his friends, was massacred in a Miami bar in Florida by Don Luis' men, Emilio cuts off all ties with her with Emilio stating that she has been "retired" from his services. She later went to the church and gave her goodbyes to Mama and Emilio. Meanwhile, Danny's friend Ryan (Billy Slaughter) sees the picture of "Jennifer" as he sends it to his sister Shari (Nikea Gamby-Turner) with the picture eventually landing in the possession of the FBI when they trace the picture.
Learning about the picture Danny took of her, Cataleya dissociates herself from him when she sees the FBI and the SWAT Team arrive at the apartment building. Cataleya barely escapes her apartment when Ross raids it with a SWAT team. Cataleya makes it to a secret room beneath the apartment and escapes into the subway tunnel with her arsenal while in a disguise. Arriving at Emilio's house, Cataleya discovers that Emilio and his family were murdered by Marco and Don Luis' men to send her a message. She ambushes Ross in his home, demanding that he give her Don Luis' location or she will kill his family. Ross reveals that Don Luis is under CIA protection. Through a phone call to Ross the next day, Cataleya intimidates Steve Richard into disclosing Luis' location in New Orleans. Cataleya travels there and massacres Luis' guards. She corners Marco in a bathroom and kills him by stabbing him in the neck. As Luis tries to escape, she calls him and replies that she is exactly where she wanted. Luis then turns around until two dogs on him hear Cataleya say "Eat" and they maul him to death.
The FBI detains Danny for questioning. He receives a call from Cataleya: she apologizes for abandoning him, reveals her true name, and confesses her love. She hints that she might return someday. Ross catches Danny on the phone, but lacking evidence of a crime when Cataleya hangs up before the call can be traced, Ross is forced to release him. Meanwhile, Cataleya boards a bus headed for an unknown destination.
- Zoe Saldana as Cataleya Restrepo, a professional assassin who is the main protagonist of the film.
- Amandla Stenberg as young Cataleya
- Michael Vartan as Danny Delaney, an aspiring artist who is Cataleya's love interest.
- Cliff Curtis as Emilio Restrepo, the criminal uncle of Cataleya who lives in Chicago and had trained Cataleya.
- Lennie James as Special Agent James Ross, a special agent of the FBI who investigates the deaths caused by Cataleya.
- Callum Blue as Steve Richard, a CIA Agent that oversees the FBI Protection Program that Don Luis is in.
- Beto Benites as Don Luis Sandoval, a drug lord who serves as the primary antagonist of the film.
- Jordi Mollà as Marco, Don Luis' top henchman who murdered Cataleya's parents. He serves as the secondary antagonist.
- Graham McTavish as Head Marshal Warren, a U.S. Marshal who apprehended Genarro Rizzo
- Max Martini as Special Agent Williams, an FBI Agent who led the raid on Cataleya's apartment building.
- Ofelia Medina as Mama, the grandmother of Cataleya.
- Angel Garnica as Pepe
- Jesse Borrego as Fabio Restrepo, Cataleya's deceased father.
- Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Alicia Restrepo, Cataleya's deceased mother.
- Sam Douglas as William Woogard, a millionaire that disappeared with $50,000,000,000 who was one of Cataleya's targets.
- Doug Rao as Michael Shino
- Affif Ben Badra as Genarro Rizzo, a gangster who was one of Cataleya's targets.
- Billy Slaughter as Ryan, one of Danny's friends
- Nikea Gamby-Turner as Shari, Ryan's sister who works as a receptionist at the Chicago Police Department.
- Ariane Brodier as Alexa Milshinova, a grifter who targeted big stakes gamblers and killed them until she became one of Cataleya's targets where she was strangled in a bathroom stall.
Filming began around 20 August 2010 in locations including Chicago, New Orleans, Mexico, and France. The film was produced by Luc Besson's EuropaCorp company and the script was written by Besson and Robert Mark Kamen.
 Critical response
Reception was mostly mixed to negative reviews. The film itself was not screened to most critics in advance of its release until the day before its release, preventing opening day print reviews, but nevertheless, some critics reviewed the film. Movie review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes labeled Colombiana with a 27% rating based on 89 reviews with the consensus of critics nationwide saying that "Zoe Saldana has the chops but she's taken out by erratic and sloppy filmmaking." Christy Lemire of The Associated Press reviewed Colombiana, writing that “The director of La Femme Nikita and The Fifth Element serves as co-writer and producer here, but this is very much a spin-off of his brand, a continuation of the kind of stereotype- and gravity-defying characters he’s made his name on. Colombiana feels more hammy and muscular, though – but knowingly so, and that’s what makes it solid, late-summer escapist fun. Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times, however, wrote: “This B-movie blast of bloody blam blam is the latest chapter in the Luc Besson book of badly bruised lovelies who are better not crossed. What he began in 1990 with Nikita followed with Léon in ’94 and ’97's The Fifth Element, (the last written with Robert Mark Kamen, who co-wrote Colombiana with Besson), he refines in Colombiana.” Claudia Puig of USA Today felt a little different, writing: “This is a showy flower of an action film. Saldana doesn’t get much of a chance to emote, but her action skills blossom.” Jordan Mintzer of the Hollywood Reporter, nevertheless, was more tolerant of the film, writing that "There are guilty pleasures to be had in this frenzied B starring Zoe Saldana, who gives an acrobatic performance that makes the overcooked material watchable."
A nonprofit group called PorColombia criticized the film, saying that it stereotyped Colombia in a negative way. Carlos Macias, president of PorColombia, claimed that the film is proof of a "total lack of creativity" of "Hollywood". When asked about the situation in an interview, Saldaña said "Shame on them? I don't know, I wish I knew how to address stupid unintelligent comments but I don't, I'm not a stupid person."
 Box office
Colombiana debuted in second place in its first week at the U.S. box office with $10,408,176 behind The Help. It stayed No. 2 until 31 August 2011, when it went down to No. 3 behind The Help and The Debt. The film has made $36,665,854 in United States and Canada, and $24,300,000 in foreign countries, bringing its total to $60,965,854 worldwide.
 See also
- "Colombiana (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 31 August 2011. http://www.bbfc.co.uk/AFF281048/. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
- "EuropaCorp sets 'Colombiana'". Variety. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
- "Colombiana (2011)". Box Office Mojo. 2 August 2011. http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=colombiana.htm. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
- Mintzer, Jordan (26 July 2011). "Colombiana: Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/colombiana-film-review-215647. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
- "Louisiana Productions as of August 2010". Retrieved 24 May 2011.
- "Michael Vartan Joins Zoe Saldana in Colombiana". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved 24 May 2011.
- "Zoe Saldana Wants Revenge in Colombiana". Cinematical.com. Retrieved 24 May 2011.
- "Colombiana". http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/colombiana/.
- Lemire, Christy (24 August 2011). "Review: `Colombiana' knows how silly, sexy it is'". Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/ae/movies/articles/2011/08/24/review_colombiana_knows_how_silly_sexy_it_is/. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
- Sharkey, Betsy (26 August 2011). "Movie review: 'Colombiana'". Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-colombiana-20110826,0,3787439.story. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
- Puig, Claudia (26 August 2011). "'Colombiana': Zoe Saldana is killer". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/reviews/story/2011-08-25/Colombiana-Zoe-Saldana-is-killer/50139840/1. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
- Mintzer, Jordan (29 July 2011). "Colombiana". Variety. http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117945732?refcatid=31. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
- Cheney, Alexandra. "Vengeance Served Bold." The Wall Street Journal. August 23, 2011. Retrieved on October 2, 2012.
- "Controversy Surrounds "Colombiana" Film For Stereotyping". NewsTaco. 16 August 2011. http://www.newstaco.com/2011/08/16/controversy-surrounds-colombiana-film-for-stereotyping/. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
- "Weekend Box Office Results for August 26–28, 2011 – Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. IMDB.com. http://boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/?yr=2011&wknd=34&p=.htm. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
- Official website (English)
- Colombiana at the Internet Movie Database
- Colombiana at AllRovi
- Colombiana at Box Office Mojo
- Colombiana at Rotten Tomatoes
- Colombiana at Metacritic