Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA/France, 2011. EuropaCorp, TF1 Films Production, Grive Productions, Canal+, CinéCinéma, A.J.O.Z. Films. Screenplay by Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen. Cinematography by Romain Lacourbas. Produced by Luc Besson, Ariel Zeitoun. Music by Nathaniel Mechaly, Craig Walker. Production Design by Patrick Durand. Costume Design by Olivier Beriot. Film Editing by Camille Delamarre.
After witnessing her parents’ murder before her eyes as a child, Cataleya (Zoe Saldana) grows up with nothing but vengeance on her mind, taken from her home in Colombia and raised in Chicago by her uncle (Cliff Curtis). Now a grown woman, Cataleya spends days and nights chasing down all the men connected to the mobster who had her folks killed, stealthily removing them one by one and always staying impressively well ahead of the law. This latest film from the Luc Besson factory is yet another paint-by-numbers riff on La Femme Nikita, with Saldana earning the right to carry the film with her dynamic performance but hampered by some very dull trappings. Many of the assassination sequences are beautifully thought out and executed, but there are plot twists that are beyond ludicrous (honestly, she never had her photo taken before?) and the various victims of her vengeance are hardly explained before they are removed. Besson is quite frankly one of the most vapid filmmakers out there, unable to find the line to ride between B-movie exploitation glee and self-important Hollywood action gusto, and this film is the latest to suffer his lack of intelligence. Michael Vartan appears in a throwaway role as the protagonist’s booty call.