Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Olivier Megaton|
|Produced by||Luc Besson
Pierre-Ange Le Pogam
|Screenplay by||Luc Besson
Robert Mark Kamen
|Music by||Nathaniel Méchaly|
|Editing by||Camille Delamarre|
TF1 Films Production
|Distributed by||EuropaCorp. Distribution|
|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, a young Cataleya (Zoe Saldana) lives with her parents in Bogota, Colombia. Her father Fabio Restrepo (Jesse Borrego) has key information about drug lord Don Luis Sandoval (Beto Benites). When Don Luis learns about this, he sends his henchman Marco (Jordi Mollà) to kill Fabio. Fabio gives Cataleya the information Don Luis wants, and tells her that's her passport. Just in case she finds herself alone, he also gives her the address of her Uncle Emilio's home in Chicago. Fabio tells Cataleya to sit at the kitchen table, and not move no matter what. Fabio and his wife leave to fight off Marco and his gang, but both of them are gunned down as Cataleya listens from the kitchen. Marco then sees Cataleya and tries to manipulate her into giving the information. When he asks what her goal is, she stabs Marco in the hand with a knife, says "To kill Don Luis" and escapes her home before being chased. She safely makes it to the U.S. Embassy and is sent to her uncle Emilio (Cliff Curtis), a criminal in Chicago. Once they meet, Cataleya asks him to train her as an assassin.
Fifteen years later Cataleya (Zoe Saldana) has become an accomplished assassin. Her uncle serves as her broker, providing her with contracts. Eventually she is assigned to kill the gangster Genarro Rizzo (Affif Ben Badra) who is currently in police custody. Following through on an elaborate plan she gets herself arrested and transferred to the same prison. The police mistakes her for a student who just drank too much. She manages to leave her cell through the ventilation system and successfully kills Rizzo. Then she returns to her cell and the next morning she is released unsuspected.
As always she has left her signature, the Cattleya flower. Thus FBI Special Agent James Ross (Lennie James) can link this case to more than twenty other cases. As a last resort the FBI decides to inform the public about Cataleya's calling card. Cataleya's archenemy Don Luis, who is currently in a U.S.-American witness protection program, concludes correctly that Fabio's daughter is in the U.S. and orders his people to find her. Emilio is devastated when he learns she has a signature since she has hereby put her relatives in grave danger as well. Cataleya's newest target is William "Willy" Woogard, a millionaire who ran into hiding in the Caribbean with $50 million. She manages to shoot him and he falls inside his shark tank, in which the sharks maul him to death.
Cataleya's lover Danny Delaney (Michael Vartan) doesn't even know her real name. Admiring her beauty he snaps a picture of her while she is asleep. He then shows it to his best friend Ryan (Billy Slaughter) who forwards it to his sister-in-law Shari (Nikea Gamby-Turner). From there it happens to reach Agent Ross who realizes that this is the alleged student who was in the same prison as Genarro Rizzo at the very night when he was killed.
Now the FBI traces her and supported by a SWAT team they try to fetch her. She manages to escape her apartment and goes to Emilio, only to discover the dead bodies of Mama and Emilio, killed by Don Luis. Cataleya ambushes Ross in his home in order to gain information on Don Luis from him. She threatens to hurt his family if he won't tell her. Out of fear for his family's safety, Agent Ross decides to assist Cataleya by retrieving information for her on Don Luis's exact whereabouts, in New Orleans. Using heavy weaponry she manages to access his premises and wreaks havoc on the mansion and massacres its guards. She enters one of the living quarters and finds her parents' murderer, Marco. After a violent duel in a bathroom, she kills him by stabbing him in the neck with a gun magazine.
Don Luis escapes his mansion by using a black van. When traffic brings him to a stop, Cataleya calls him. Luis taunts her, saying that he will never be where she wants him to be. Strangely, Cataleya responds that he is exactly where she wants him to be. Behind him, two dogs hear Cataleya's voice say "Eat" and they maul Luis to death.
When her lover Danny is questioned by the FBI, he receives her phone call. She comes clean with him by revealing her true name and hinting that she would return someday. Ross catches Danny on the phone, but lets him leave as he doesn't have any proof. Meanwhile, Cataleya hangs up on the phone and boards a bus headed for an unknown destination.
- Zoe Saldana as Cataleya Restrepo, a professional assassin who is the protagonist.
- Amandla Stenberg as a young Cataleya.
- Michael Vartan as Danny Delaney, Cataleya's lover.
- Cliff Curtis as Emilio Restrepo, Cataleya's criminal uncle who lives in Chicago and has trained her.
- 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, Cataleya's grandmother.
- 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 in the Caribbean with $50 million 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.
- Taleti . Prasad as Paper boy, he helps to the hero.
- 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 26% rating based on 92 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." In his review in Senses of Cinema, David Martin-Jones named and analyzed a number of shortcomings. Even so he stated finally that in spite of all its resemblances to Hollywood blockbusters this film provided in comparison at least "a different perspective" concerning immigration and international wealth inequality.
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. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
- "EuropaCorp sets 'Colombiana'". Variety. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
- "Colombiana (2011)". Box Office Mojo. 2 August 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
- Mintzer, Jordan (26 July 2011). "Colombiana: Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. 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.
- Lemire, Christy (24 August 2011). "Review: `Colombiana' knows how silly, sexy it is'". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
- Sharkey, Betsy (26 August 2011). "Movie review: 'Colombiana'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
- Puig, Claudia (26 August 2011). "'Colombiana': Zoe Saldana is killer". USA Today. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
- Mintzer, Jordan (29 July 2011). "Colombiana". Variety. 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. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
- ">Martin-Jones, David (1 March 2011). "Review: 'Colombiana: Europa Corp and the Ambiguous Geopolitics of the Action Movie'". Senses of Cinema.
- "Weekend Box Office Results for August 26–28, 2011 – Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. IMDB.com. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
- Official website (English)
- Colombiana: Europa Corp and the Ambiguous Geopolitics of the Action Movie at Senses of Cinema
- Colombiana at the Internet Movie Database
- Colombiana at AllRovi
- Colombiana at Box Office Mojo
- Colombiana at Rotten Tomatoes
- Colombiana at Metacritic