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Cataleya is a young woman who has grown up to be an assassin after witnessing the murder of her parents as a child. Turning herself into a professional killer and working for her uncle, she remains focused on her ultimate goal: to hunt down and get revenge on the mobster responsible for her parents deaths.
For more about Colombiana and the Colombiana Blu-ray release, see Colombiana Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on December 15, 2011 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Zoe Saldana, Michael Vartan, Callum Blue, Cliff Curtis, Jordi Mollà, Lennie James
Director: Olivier Megaton
» See full cast & crew
Colombiana Blu-ray Review
The revenge business gets boring.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, December 15, 2011
I want to be a killer.
It's not nice to assume anything, but one look at the Colombiana trailer seemed to be pretty telling. It looked like a generic Action/Revenge flick with little substance but a fair bit of style, built around hot and heavy action, and with a certain lovely communications officer in the lead role. One might rightly assume from the trailer a fair but forgettable little Action movie that would make for a nice way to kill off two hours and watch one of Hollywood's current starlets take out the trash with some high-powered weaponry. It certainly couldn't be a great movie, could it? In this case, looks and first impressions aren't wrong, and if anything, the movie actually looks a little bit better in its trailer than it actually does in its final cut. Colombiana is a derivative, cliché-riddled snoozer of an Action movie that's all style and no substance. Bland characters, generic action scenes, stilted dialogue, and plot conveniences galore are all part of the movie's flimsy fabric that wants to be the next big Action movie but fizzles not because of poor stunt work or sloppy direction, but rather zero originality and absolutely no soul to be found.
Colobmiana's unimaginative, cliché-happy plot goes something like this: a young girl, Cataleya (Amandla Stenberg), sees her parents gunned down in a massacre inside her own home. The man behind the hit is her father's former boss, a drug kingpin named Don Luis (Beto Benites). Before her father's death, he entrusts Cat with a disk containing drug cartel secrets that becomes her "passport" to a better life. She's given asylum within the U.S. where she lives with her uncle Emilio (Cliff Curtis) who is himself a shady criminal. She informs her tío that she wants to be a killer. He reluctantly agrees to train her, and some years later, Cataleya (Zoe Saldana) has matured into an expert hit man, er, hit girl. She's ruthless, stealthy, and knows just how to pull off every hit, no matter how difficult it may be. She leaves a signature calling card on each victim, hoping to lure her parents' killers into her trap. As her body count piles up, she attempts to keep up appearances as a normal girl through a burgeoning relationship with her artistically-inclined boyfriend Danny (Michael Vartan) while eluding authorities, the pursuit group led by one Special Agent Ross (Lennie James). Can Cataleya exact the revenge she craves and for which she has dedicated her entire life, or will the law finally catch up with her and silence her guns before she can achieve her ultimate goal?
Colombiana may be slick and very well made, but that's just not enough anymore, at least in most cases and certainly in the case of Colombiana. Director Olivier Megaton's (Transporter 3) movie does nothing to reinvigorate a rather stale genre. The picture is absolutely devoid of originality. The action is fine but there's no heartbeat, no single scene that doesn't look like it could have been lifted straight out of some other movie, only with Zoe Saldana Photoshopped into the end product. Whether chase scenes through Bogotá or various stretches where the heroine hunts down the bad guys and kills them real good, the movie just moves along like a soulless zombie that's only out to cover the basics with no sense of purpose and no heart, just focused on a singular goal of delivering some flashy action scenes along the way towards the end credits. To make matters worse, there's no element of surprise whatsoever; all that there is to discover is just how Cat will exact her revenge, and the best part about reaching that point is that it means the movie is coming to an end. Colombiana favors characters that are flatter than a baseball card and who speak in dialogue that's straight out of some "clichés to avoid" guide. The picture does make an effort to give some much-needed shape to its main character by having her engage in a "relationship" outside of her career as a killer, but yes, those scenes just devolve into mindless drivel that serves only to make the movie too long.
The acting isn't especially robust, either. Cliff Curtis is always a welcome name in the credits roster, but here he's reduced to third-rate dialogue and forced to play a cookie-cutter character that robs him of any chance to prove his worth as a quality actor. Zoe Saldana -- and her character -- is here little more than a robot skilled in the art of acrobatic action movie stunt work. She sneaks and runs and shoots and dives with skill, though she emotes almost nothing. Whether that's because she's a cold blooded killer whose emotions were take from her when she saw her parents gunned down (unlikely considering a scene where she falls to tears) or because the part just gives her nothing else to work with, the performance is rather bland, conveying no feeling and making it difficult to really care if she succeeds in avenging her parents' death or not (and there's no mystery as to that, either). But at least she looks good in a catsuit. Speaking of, Colombiana's plot relies far too heavily on convenience and stupidity to move forward, almost all of it from the law enforcement characters. It's utterly unbelievable that Cat, playing the part of a drunk, is locked up in jail and is able to keep in her possession the necessary tools to pick her cell's lock, not to mention hide a stealthy catsuit somewhere on her person that serves no purpose other than to get her into some tight-fitting clothes. Special Agent Ross' two big breaks come completely by chance and not through his own smarts and insights into the case. It's all very disappointing, though it's not much of a surprise considering that the movie was probably given the go-ahead when someone pitched the idea of Zoe Saldana running around and killing bad guys, and that's basically all this movie is.
Colombiana Blu-ray, Video Quality
Colombiana is boring, and so too is reviewing Sony's Blu-ray releases, but in the case of the latter, "boring" is a very good thing. Ho-hum, Colombiana is another stunning Blu-ray from the format's most consistent player. Colombiana's image is innately warm, sporting a rather heavy golden push. Nevertheless, colors truly sparkle. They are stable and very accurate even under the golden tint, whether Cat's bright blue house as seen early in the movie, outdoor vegetation, or orange fireballs. Flesh tones are naturally balanced, and blacks are stable and deep without crush or appearing a dark shade of gray. Fine detail is mesmerizing in nearly every scene, and the image is razor-sharp. Facial textures are faultless right down to the last pore, stubble, and bead of sweat. Building façades are fantastically intricate; the chase scenes through the streets, alleys, and rooftops of Bogotá reveal an insane amount of perfectly-defined detailing, whether rough exterior building materials, pavement, or the intricacies of a manhole cover. Clarity is first-rate, and a light grain structure ensures a handsome filmic texture. There's no evidence of blocking, banding, edge enhancement, or other unwanted elements. This is fantastic transfer from the top down.
Colombiana Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Colombiana blasts onto Blu-ray with a genre- and Sony-typical DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack. This one is seamless, presenting audiences with a high-end theater-quality listening experience that allows for every sonic nuance to be heard in the quietest dialogue scenes and the most ambitious action moments alike. Music is very clear, spreads out nicely across the front, plays with an honest surround support element, and is rounded into shape by a strong low end. Atmospherics are capable, too; the movie isn't alive with natural ambience at every turn, but chirping birds in one early outdoor scene, the din of a police station, and the like seamlessly blend into the track to help create several immersive locales. Of course, it should come as no surprise that this track is all about the action. Gunfire is strong and satisfying. Explosions tear through the soundstage with great power, with two fine examples coming chapters twelve and fifteen. Directional effects are superb, too; listeners will feel a rocket-propelled grenade zip across the soundstage in chapter fifteen. The track is made complete by balanced dialogue that's always clear and never lost to surrounding elements. This is how Action movies should sound.
Colombiana Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Colombiana's Blu-ray release contains several featurettes, including a lengthy making-of.
Colombiana Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
This isn't a case where the movie "woulda," "coulda," or "shoulda" been better. Colombiana was doomed to mediocrity from the start. There's not an original figurative bone in its literal 35mm body, and when the shooting script is lifted off the scrap heap of cinema cliché, the movie just doesn't stand a chance. Director Olivier Megaton's film is polished and slick; it's obvious much care went into ensuring that it looks great, but that's pretty much all the good there is to say about it. The plot is stale, the acting is poor, and the action is monotonous. Sony's Blu-ray release of Colombiana does feature outstanding picture and sound quality, as well as a handful of extras. Worth a rental on a night that calls for brainless action and a pretty lead.
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Colombiana Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Colombiana Blu-ray - October 17, 2011
Sony Home Entertainment will release Colombiana on Blu-ray this December. Zoe Saldana (The Losers) stars as a skilled assassin who moonlights as a vigilante avenger as a means of tracking down the mobster who ordered her parents' deaths. This Unrated Blu-ray ...
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