“Columbiana” is a movie that really wants you to see a new side to the sometimes-cliche femme fatale assassin–the assassin with a heart. However, according to critics, the movie fails to deliver.

According to Rotten Tomatoes, the film was given a 37% rotten by critics. Audiences were kind, giving it a 64%, but let’s examine why the critics were far less kind:

“…Besson and his French collaborator, Robert Mark Kamen, have just taken a bit of their other, better work–‘The Fifth Element,’ ‘The Professional,’ ‘The Transporter,’ ‘Taken’–and put Saldana’s face on them. The director Olivier Megaton blows things up, demolishes a fruit market, and throws in some parkour foot-chases as if he’s completing a checklist. A movie like this can’t hurt Saldana…Nonetheless, she commits herself to slinking around in a catsuit, swimming with hilariously phony sharks, and firing two Uzis at a time.”–Wesley Morris, Boston Globe

“Turns out ‘Columbiana isn’t completely dreadful, if you ignore the holes in its Swiss cheese of a plot. As payback stories go, it’s pretty rote stuff, even with well-connected producer Luc Besson co-writing with Robert Mark Kame, the pens behind ‘Taken’ and ‘The Transporter.'” Peter Howell, Toronto Star

“…’Columbiana’ is disappointing Euro-cheese…If ‘Columbiana’ were 25 minutes shorter, it would probably be an agreeably dumb action flick…We all love a steamy pile of frivolous nonsense now and then, but it has to move quickly or we lose interest, like a joke that stops being funny.”–Eric D. Snider, Film.com

What do you think about the film? Give your opinions below.


By Monique Jones

Monique Jones blogs about race and culture in entertainment, particularly movies and television. You can read her articles at Racialicious, and her new site, COLOR . You can also listen to her new podcast, What would Monique Say.

4 thoughts on “Movie Review Round-Up: Columbiana”
  1. I disagree with the critics but then, I always disagree with the critics – this was a good movie.  Anytime a critic writes a movie is bad – I always see it and anytime a critic writes a movie is good I never go see it unless it’s something  I really want to see.  Afterall, a critic is just someone who watches a movie and by their standard decides whether it’s good or not – it comes down to their own personal tastes. That being said, I thought this movie was very entertaining.  Hey, I could be a critic.

  2. I just saw this movie today (9/5/11) and I’m glad I didn’t listen to any critics before
    I went. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much when I went in. I just wanted to see
    Zoe Saldana in her underwear. So I was pleasantly surprised by what I found to be
    a very entertaining movie. This film compares very well with other Luc Besson films
    such as “the professional” or “la femme nakita” both of which I also liked. Others
    in the audience I was in thought so to since there was a smattering of applause
    after some of the chase or fight scenes. I don’t know what critics are looking at 
    sometimes, but if you liked either or both of the other films mentioned above, you
    will be doing yourself a disservice if you miss this one.

  3. I disagree with the critics. The film rocked from beginning to end and not just because the lead role was one of the hottest actresses in Hollywood. I could feel the story and the motivation behind the character. That’s what any good story should do and this story carried that from beginning to end. I also liked “The Professional” and La Femme Nikita, so it’s no great surprise that i loved this movie. Maybe the critics should have seen the other two films by this director but then, if the critics didn’t like those, they obviously wouldn’t like this one. Who really cares what critics think? Who really does or doesn’t go to see a movie based on a critics opinion? I only read critics reviews for laughs, to see if they even get what the movie is about, what the story is, and if they noticed what the point was. In most cases they don’t and this is one of those times. The movie rocked. Way to go Zoe!!!

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