Zoe Saldana as Jason Bourne in skintight costumes. That was all that I needed to know to add this guy to my queue. Oh wait, this was written by Luc Besson, the writer of The Transporter, Kiss of the Dragon, The 5th Element and The Professional. Ok, now I am excited for this.
Quite frankly, most everything worked here. Zoe looks absolutely amazing whether she is shimmying around buildings in some sort of full body gimp suit, or pretending to be drunk in a way too short dress (thank you!). You get Zoe dancing in short shorts, taking showers, swimming in skintight wet suites. I think you are starting to get the picture here. Basically, Olivier Megaton knew the visuals that he had at his disposal when Zoe was put into the main role.
Can you buy her as a cold blooded killer though? Again, I would say yes. Zoe has a visceral feel to her where you can sense the rage that is coming out from her. She never plays the role of the in-control psycho assassin who is just messing with her prey. She is way too small and way too physically weak to ever have those moments. Instead, she is efficient, brutal and calculating to make sure that the job gets done. Except for one fight scene at the end, she always uses some sort of gun to get the job done, thoroughly.
Now to get to the one thing that did not work for me: her motivation. The set up is that Zoe’s father did wet work for a Columbian crime lord. (Wet work implies that he killed a whole lot of people whenever he was asked to.) He wanted to get out of the game, and told his boss so. So his boss had him and his entire family killed because they knew way too much. Zoe, as a little girl, is able to escape and vows to avenge her parents’ deaths.
Forgive me if this is putting entirely too much thought into a basic shoot ’em up revenge thriller, but I would be pissed at my dad in this situation. The guy raised me around killers and psychopaths. He went out and killed people for a living. And he believes that he is just going to be able to say goodbye, and the bad guys will just trust that he never tells anyone their secrets? Not only that, but he does it with his wife and daughter just chilling at home. No getaway plan, no escape route. Then he just drives back to his house and when the bad guys come to kill him, he again has no getaway planned for his wife and daughter.
In fact, he sits his daughter at the kitchen table and allows her to watch both her mother and father get gunned down right in front of her. If he is this nonchalant in this world, then his daughter knows what is going down. The crime boss is doing exactly what a crime boss would do. The father is not. Protect your damn family. Don’t just hope that the crime lords henchmen will not follow orders and kill every single member of your family. Seriously?!?
I fully admit that this is very nit-picky and I am being somewhat ridiculous. But does anything I am thinking not make sense? Other than this though, I thoroughly enjoyed Columbiana. Zoe Saldana is a fully believable revenge dealer who gets to do some pretty insane stuff in some very tight clothing. Sign me up.
Have you seen Columbiana? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below.