Rating: 2 stars out of 5
At one point in this Luc Besson produced thriller, the frighteningly thin Zoe Saldana, says that she doesn’t eat breakfast to her paramour Danny (Michael Vartan). She appears to skip lunch and dinner as well in this efficient but passionless action film.
Saldana plays Cataleya, a female assassin who formed her ambition after having her parents killed in front of her in Bogota. Acquiring a Terminator-like single-mindedness, the young Cataleya (played by Amandla Stenberg) stabs one of the murderers with a knife and then manages to negotiate her way to the US and find her way to a relative, where she tells him her career goal is to be a killer after he tries to put her in a school.
Years later, the grown up Cataleya is out getting revenge and payback for her parents’ murders.
Director Oliver Megaton, who worked with Jason Statham on Transporter 3, can’t really get away from Besson’s shadow, as this film follows closely in the shadows of Besson’s female-centred thrillers such as La Femme Nikita (1990) and The Fifth Element (1997).
At least in the prologue, there was a sense of humour and ridiculousness that gave the film a certain freshness, such as the young Cataleya’s ability to escape from US government agents and hardened Colombian killers alike.
There are the usual showcases of technique and flair, including what appears to be a Besson staple; breaking out of a building that’s crawling with agents. Still, Saldana has too little character to go with that stick-thin figure, despite her acting ability.