It is so refreshingly, wonderfully cool to see one of the biggest action films of the year, starring a woman! The usually elegant Saldana effortlessly plays a stone-cold hitwoman out for revenge against the criminals who killed her parents in front of her when she was a young girl in Colombia.
Colombiana starts off action packed and never lets up.
The first action scene involving Catayela involves the young Cataleya (who draws Xena drawings and wears Captain America t-shirts, played by the cute Amandla Stenberg) stabs one of the mobsters in the hand with a knife when he tries to get her to give up an important chip her father gives her before he is killed. Young Cataleya dynamically escapes the bad guys after her in a cool first chase scene. When Cataleya finally reaches her dangerous uncle (a great Cliff Curtis, Once Were Warriors, Whale Rider) in the states--- she almost immediately tells him, "I want to be a killer. Can you help?" He immediately answers, "Sure." By day he forces her to go to school to learn things he can't teach her, by night he teaches her things he can, to kill.
Fast-forward 15 years later and Cataleya is the perfect hitwoman. In Saldana's first action scene as Cataleya, she very coolly gets herself arrested and imprisoned to take out a bad guy whose held in the jail she's in. Cataleya, is like the first three letters of her name, plus a gymnast, as she slinks in and out of her cell. Her calling card on her victims is her namesake, a drawing/leaving of a cattleya flower on/with the victim. Of course no one for awhile, from her boyfriend (a sweet, Michael Vartan, Monster-in-Law, t.v. shows Alias, Hawthorne) or the authorities, consider her a suspect for 20+ "cattelya murders." When suspicions do arise that a woman may be the killer, C.I.A. agent (Lennie James, The Next Three Days, t.v. show The Walking Dead), scoffs, "It's not possible."
Boy, is he wrong!
Cataleya's arsenal of weapons is beyond impressive with machine guns and rocket looking guns galore. The standout fight scene with Cataleya and the main bad guy (the one she stabs in the hand at the beginning of the film) involves--- a towel, two tooth brushes, her belt and a gun!
Of course Cataleya ends up killing all the bad guys responsible for her parent's deaths (I wish though at least one would have gotten away so a sequel could possibly be in the works!).
The ending is fulfilling--- for Cataleya and the audience.
It's great seeing Saldana being so successfully versatile as well as her rise to fame--- co-starring as a ballet dancer in her very first film--- 2000's Center Stage and now starring as an assassin in Colombiana.
Here's to the cool Zoe Saldana kicking more ass in the future!