Unbelievable revenge action film

Columbiana Columbia Rating: 14A 109 minutes

In Columbiana Zoe Saldana plays a professional killer. As a nine-year-old child in Columbia her character’s parents were killed by a drug lord. Rather unbelievably, her character not only escapes their killers, she gets herself to relatives in Chicago. There she announces to her uncle that she wants to grow up to be a killer and revenge her parent’s deaths. And, of course, she does.

Cut to Saldana as an adult assassin for hire pulling off one impossible murder after another. She even leaves a distinctive calling card to tip off the drug lord (now under CIA protection) that she’s coming to kill him. And, of course, she does.

There’s lots of action, lots of shooting, explosions, speeded up camerawork and some of it is even well done, but mostly it’s not. It’s also very predicable.

If parts of this film seem familiar it’s probably because it was co-written and co-produced by French writer/director Luc Besson who is best know for films like the original La Femme Nikita and The Professional, which this film ressembles. However, it is not in the same class.

This is an okay action movie. Some of the plotting is quite clever, but the major problem is so much of it is just not believable. But if you are willing to shut off your brain and just take it in as a summer popcorn movie, it gets by. Saldana is quite sexy, although here again, not always believable as a ninja-like assassin.

Rating: two deer out of five

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Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.