COLOMBIANA (PG-13 for use of guns, missiles, torture, sharks): And now for something completely familiar: revenge & mayhem from an almost supernaturally skilled woman who battles in skin-tight uniforms with south-of-the-border drug dealers. Does she win after an-all out skirmish with state-of-the-art weapons, Nathaniel Mechaly's pounding score, & Romain Lacourbas's thrilling camera work? Guess.
What we have here, quite obviously, is yet another of Luc Besson's tantalizingly supreme female tirades ala "Femme Nikita." By now he has honed his techniques with this script co-written with Robert Mark Kamen & directed with a familiar, sure hand with the genre.
Zoe Saldana - a Latin-type beauty with the lithe, thin body of a model, is perfect for this latest femme; she doesn't have to reveal anything beyond looking terrifically gorgeous in or out of water, playing her role with dignified coolness, creating bottomless levels of martial ability as she tracks down & does in the drug dealers responsible for the death of her Colombian parents. The film begins with her tragic experience as a child (precociously played by Amandla Stenberg), then rapidly leaps to her as the avenging angel with enough weaponry to take on the entire drug cartel.
Besson is familiar & handy with this genre; he knows exactly when to put wit, flair, & professionalism to work on familiar material with expert use of slow-motion shotgun s hells hitting the floor, killing off people with his customary panache, and blowing things up in a flurry of flames, debris, & chaotic action. Sure, it's silly and not the brainiest of action flicks, but if his well-honed technique is what grabs you, you'll have a pretty good time for 98-minutes of elaborately staged loud, fast action - and Zoe to boot. (Grade: C)