Now, this is a movie we weren’t really planning on seeing: one, because I am not an action-movie type of girl and two, I’m not a fan of any of the actors in the movie, although I like Luc Besson enough (he created Nikita after all – the original one, which starred his then wife, and I super loved that film and the late 90’s Canadian series which starred Peta Wilson).
Now, if it weren’t for the oftentimes too spectacular to be real action sequence in the movie and Zoe Saldana’s superb acting skills, this movie would have gone straight into my list of B-movies that should never have seen the light of day. The story was cliché all over: girl living in Colombia witnesses the murder of her parents at the hands of a drug king pin, grows up to be an assassin for hire who, in her free time, hunts down the druggies in the hopes of getting enough attention to draw the kingpin who killed her parents out in the open. We’ve seen this story many times over and it’s quite tiring. Plus, even though we all know how Colombia is (in)famous for its drug operations, do we really need a Hollywood film to point that out? A Hollywood film that wasn’t even filmed in Colombia, even partially.
In any case, Zoe was good as Cataleya, the assassin – she even makes the lamest scenes and dialogue bearable. She’s tough and yet she managed to put a more complex sympathetic side to her character. Looking at her, you can really believe she can get in and out of a prison cell to murder an inmate, or trespass into a drug lord’s mansion full of armed men without so much as a scratch, yet trust her that she won’t harm you if you’re not her target. But this is actually the movie’s main fault – the heroine was too perfectly invincible. And the love angle was absurd: what kind of man would not even feel a bit of anger or fear or disgust upon finding out the woman he’s been sleeping with (and fallen in love with, though he knows nothing about her other than that’s she’s hot) is a serial killer, with 23 known kills in the FBI database to her credit? Seriously? Even the most devoted lover would have had serious issues when that kind of truth is shoved down his throat.
The movie did manage to get me a bit teary-eyed, when Cataleya was shown a photo of her family by her uncle and when she discovers later on that her uncle’s family was murdered as retaliation by the mob for her vengeful killings.
Bottomline, the movie is good eye candy of the explosive kind and Zoe has a quiet feline charm about her which makes her a beauty to watch even as she wields one big gun after another. But other than that, this movie gets a big fat B-movie tag in my list.