Columbiana (2011)

Rated PG-13. Our Ratings: V-4 ;L -1 ; S/N –1. Running time: 1 hour 48 min.

Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity,
and the rod of anger will fail.
Proverbs 22:8

Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow.
Galatians 6:7

Cataleya is like Rambo, a one-person army.

©2011 TriStar Pictures

Director Olivier Megaton and writer Luc Besson’s new film is like another popular action thriller Hanna in that it features a highly skilled woman assassin, though by the time she grows up Cataleya (she is named for an orchid growing in her native Colombia) is older than the teenaged Hanna. The film begins in Bogotá where the little girl witnesses the murder of her parents, who are members of a drug cartel. She stabs one of the killers in the hand —her uncle nonetheless!—and leads the thugs on a merry chase through the streets and over the rooftops, a sequence that fans of the Bourne series will love. And this sequence features a little girl with all the speed, nimbleness and skill of a ninja warrior.

Cataleya, who had been prepared for such an emergency by her parents, escapes to America, where her criminal Uncle Emilio (Cliff Curtis) welcomes her into his family. At her own request he trains her to become a skilled killer. The rest of the film chronicles her vengeful attacks on those who murdered her parents. What makes this a cut above other such violent films is that her violence falls back on her and her loved ones, including the unsuspecting man with whom she fallen in love. However, this does not result in her changing her ways, as the hero of Stephen Spielberg’s Munich does. The film’s ending sets us up for a sequel, no doubt equally as violent.

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