Columbiana is an action movie in style with Leon The Professional. Seeing as it was made by the same movie director, Luc Besson, I'd say it is an attempt at revitalizing the classic. Luc has done a lot to make this into a good movie. He's chosen a great main character, he's captured the atmosphere in the various location, he's matched colors and textures and created a variable beautiful and glum environment, and the special effects are absolutely perfect. The gunfire smoke, the bullet holes, the blood, everything keeps a good balance between realism and chaos, not too much nor too little destruction and mayhem.
One scene in which the bad guy is chased out to the front of his house, all his bodyguards lying dead around him, he himself standing on the glass of a glazed swimming-pool-sized aquarium with a gun in each hand, is especially effectual. Our main character the female assassin is hiding in the shadows, waiting for him. Kind of like the introductory scene in Leon, with the assassin walking past the bullet holes, slowly, then leaning down to peek through one of the holes. That kind of effectual. No doubt Luc either tried to capture that moment again or was simply inspired by it. It's easy to see it's the same director who made both movies.
Still it just can't match the classic. It moves too fast, it tries to match too many trends, tries to be as creatively violent as possible. Don't get me wrong, it's a good movie, really good, in fact it might be my favorite action movie of the year (except for Inception of course). Maybe I'm just getting sick and tired of Hollywood action movies where everything is an act and nothing is real. Now Hong Kong action, that's a whole new level. I'm hooked. The stunts, the life-threatening situations not only on cinema but when the movie was being filmed, and the skill involved in the acting, that was something else... but anyway, back to the review on queue...
Luc Besson is a director on par with Tarantino in that he focuses mostly on action movies and succeeds in making them really really good. From being a smalltime movie director in France he's come a long way, all the way to Hollywood, and though his new position gives him access to much larger resources and freedom of design, it feels like he's gotten too commercial. The slogan: revenge is a beautiful thing, says it all. A sexy female assassin as main character was no doubt the number one choice when predicting successfulness of the movie, male viewers being the obviously major target group. I'm not saying Zoe Saldana isn't a good actor, but with her as a lead the movie turns from personal to commercial. That's just how it is. Nevertheless, it's a good movie, worth a watch!
rated 4/5: fo shizzle