The director of ‘Transporter 3’ attempts something more serious, fails



Director: Olivier Megaton
Starring: Zoe Saldana, Jordi Mollà, Cliff Curtis
Time Out rating:

When saddled with a name like Olivier Megaton, career options presumably narrow to a choice between designing weapons and directing blockbusters. But what happens if, having made your name with crowd-pleasing Eurotrash like Transporter 3, you feel the urge to branch out from the usual punch-drunk potboilers and offer audiences something with a little more meat on the bones?

Colombiana is a prime example of a journeyman reaching for the stars. The plot – one-woman army Cataleya (Zoe Saldana) goes after the drug barons who murdered her pops – promises straight action thrills. But Megaton’s self-serious treatment, attempting to tick multiplex-friendly action boxes while offering an exploration of loss and the drive for revenge, just doesn’t work. The result is a thriller undone by its own dramatic pretensions.

Saldana is impressive as the slinky assassin, and a nail-biting prison-cell murder sequence, showcasing her Lycra-clad athletic prowess, is the film’s highlight. Like her director, Saldana struggles with the more weighty material, but that’s the fault of the script more than her restrained delivery.

Perhaps Megaton should be lauded for trying to push the multiplex envelope, and there are moments when Colombiana almost succeeds. The director is adept at knocking together a decent set-piece, from parkour-style chases to trigger-happy home invasions, but his desire to deliver a treatise on isolation and grief – down to the inappropriate appearance of Johnny Cash’s ‘Hurt’ – renders his film tiresome and unconvincing.

Colombiana opens nationwide on September 1

By Tom Huddleston
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


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