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Colombiana is a 2011 French-American action film co-written (with Robert Mark Kamen) and produced by Luc Besson and directed by Olivier Megaton. The film stars Zoë Saldana and Michael Vartan.[1] The film was released in France on 27 July 2011; in the USA on 26 August 2011 and in the UK on 9 September 2011.

The film begins in Bogota, where Cataleya's father, Fabio, is having a secret meeting with Señor Luis, a drug lord to pay off his remaining debt. Once the meeting is over. Fabio, however, learns that Luis is putting a hit out on him and his family for a valuable item he holds and that Luis wants.

Fabio rushes home and warns Alicia, his wife, that Marco, Luis's bodygaurd, is coming after them. While Alicia packs some of their belongings, Fabio hands Cataleya an address book, which should lead her to an airport security office, just in case. Fabio hands Cataleya the item that Marco wants, telling her not to lose it and to give it to the Ambassador so that she can get a US passport. He also tells Cataylea to meet up with her uncle, Emilio, who will take care of her. His last words to Catayela is, "Never Forget Where You Came From."

Soon, Marcos and his goon squad arrive at Fabio's residence. Fabio, Alicia and Cataleya try to escape, but the house is surrounded. Before the gun fight begins, Fabio has Alicia grabs his gun from the bedroom and Fabio kisses Cataleya one last time. Marcos gives his men the go ahead and the gunfight commence. Fabio grabs his gun and Alicia grabs a double barrel shotgun. The parents have Cataleya sit on the kitchen table and to not move . . . no matter what . . . knowing the men aren't going to harm her . . . they want Emilio and Alicia. Cataleya witnesses both her parents gunned down quickly. She sits there, terrified, but not making a single sound.

Marcos locates Cataleya and tells her that he's a good man and he killed her father because he betrayed him. Marcos knows that Cataleya knows the whereabouts of the unknown item and offers to let her go unharmed if she gets him want he wants. Cataleya, with her hands underneath the table, takes out a kitchen knife and stabs Marcos in the hand with it. She runs through the street of Bogota and is able to slip away by going inside the water sewer.

She then uses the address book her father gave her and goes to the Ambassador's office. Cataleya vomits out the valuable information Marcos was looking for, which she swallowed before entering the water sewer. In exchange for this, they give her a US passport and she takes the first flight to America. At the airport, Department of Social Services guides Cataleya. Cataleya wants to use the bathroom and escapes to her uncle. Upon meeting her uncle in a hide-out, they embrace each other with tears rolling down from their eyes in remembrance of Cataleya's loss.

The next day, Catayela and her Uncle, Emilio, talk about Catayela's dreams. Catalyea, at first, wanted to be a designer artist. But because of her parents' death, Cataleya presents a strange request to her uncle; she wants him to help her become a killer. At first her uncle disregards the idea and enrolls her to a public school.

Catayela berates her uncle for not taking her seriously and says if he won't teach her how to be a killer, she'll find someone else to. Her uncle shows Catayela a demonstration by pulling out his Beretta and firing at a random driver, who slams into a water hydrate. Catayela's uncle tells her if she wants to be a killer, she has to be smart, be psychological, know your surroundings, otherwise, he says, she'll end up dead within 3 years. He makes her a deal. She goes to school, he teaches her how to be an assassin.

15 years later Cateleya works for her uncle as a hit man. She knows how to get in and out without being detected, has amazing fighting skills and is good with any weapon. She leads a quiet double life with an artist boyfriend,

She begins to leave marks on her victims, in hopes it would draw the gangster that killed her parents. Then an FBI agent begins to close in on her.



Filming began around August 20, 2010 in locations including Chicago, New Orleans, and Mexico.[2] The film was produced by Luc Besson's EuropaCorp company and the script was written by Besson and Robert Mark Kamen.[3][4]


The film has been criticized for stereotyping the Colombian culture, the president of the non-profit group PorColombia, Carlos Macias, depicting it as a proof of a "total lack of creativity" of "Hollywood".[5] Several groups have rejected the film on the basis of the hypothesis that it was of a defamatory nature, changing the film's slogan from "Vengeance is beautiful" to "Colombia is Beautiful".[6]


Colombiana debuted in second place in its first week at the U.S. box office with $10,408,176 behind The Help (film). It stayed #2 until August 31, 2011, when it went down to #3 behind The Help and The Debt (2011 film).[7]

The film itself was not screened to most critics in advance of its release until the day before its release, preventing opening day print reviews, but nevertheless, some critics reviewed the film.[8] Christy Lemire of The Associated Press reviewed Colombiana, writing that “The director of “La Femme Nikita” and “The Fifth Element” serves as co-writer and producer here, but this is very much a spin-off of his brand, a continuation of the kind of stereotype- and gravity-defying characters he’s made his name on. “Colombiana” feels more hammy and muscular, though — but knowingly so, and that’s what makes it solid, late-summer escapist fun.[9] Meanwhile, Joel Bain at Sour Grapes Winery called it "the worst film that I have seen all year," describing the film as "poorly written," while enlisting an "appalling" use of music, which was made worse by a lack of any true character development. Concluding his review, he called the film "the type of film that makes you want to stay home and paint next time you think about going to the cinema for entertainment."[10] Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times, however, wrote: “This B-movie blast of bloody blam blam is the latest chapter in the Luc Besson book of badly bruised lovelies who are better not crossed. What he began in 1990 with La Femme Nikita followed with Léon in ’94 and ’97′s The Fifth Element, (the last written with Robert Mark Kamen, who co-wrote ‘Colombiana’ with the B-man), he refines in ‘Colombiana.’”[11] Claudia Puig of USA Today felt a little different, writing: “This is a showy flower of an action film. Saldana doesn’t get much of a chance to emote, but her action skills blossom.”[12] Jordan Mintzer of the Hollywood Reporter, nevertheless, was more tolerant of the film, writing that "There are guilty pleasures to be had in this frenzied B starring Zoe Saldana, who gives an acrobatic performance that makes the overcooked material watchable."[13]