Colombiana (2011) Movie Ending, Explained: Will Cataleya Remain A Wanted Woman?

Colombiana (2011) Movie Ending, Explained

Colombiana is a 2011 action thriller starring Zoe Saldaña as Cataleya Restrepo. It chronicles her story after she witnesses her parents’ murder as a young girl in Bogotá. The trauma transforms her into a professional assassin as she is determined to hunt down and murder the mobster responsible for her parent’s deaths.

The trail of tragedy and romance is brought to life thanks to an incredible screenplay, co-written by Luc Besson and directed by Olivier Megaton (Taken 2, Taken 3). The film was only recently added to Netflix’s catalogue, but it has already risen to the top ten of streaming, asserting its enduring cinematic appeal.

Colombiana (2011) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

Cataleya Restrepo, who is named after a Colombian orchid, is the nine-year-old daughter of Fabio (Jesse Borrego), a Colombian man working for the drug baron Don Luis (Beto Benites). Fabio has defied Don Luis by trying to escape his life of crime with his family, and Don Luis orders them assassinated.

Fabio gives Cataleya a memory card containing information about Don Luis’ operations, along with the address of her uncle Emilio (Cliff Curtis) in Chicago. He tells her to get there by any means necessary. Fabio leaves her with her mother’s Cataleya orchid necklace, her namesake flower. Marco (Jordi Mollà), Don Luis’ second in command, kills Fabio and his wife. Before he can kill Cataleya, she stabs him. The orphaned girl escapes and vows to avenge her parent’s deaths.

Cataleya seeks asylum at the US Embassy and is safely transported to America. She dodges attempts to place her into foster care and successfully tracks Emilio down. When she finally meets him, she tells him to train her as an assassin.

Fifteen years later, the 24-year-old Cataleya has become a deadly contract killer working for her uncle Emilio. We watch her pose as a drunk driver to infiltrate a prison where one of her targets, the notorious gangster Genarro Rizzo (Affif Ben Badra), is being held. Cataleya travels through the vent, kills Rizzo, and returns to her cell.

The next morning she is released. As with her previous murders, she leaves her signature lipstick drawing of a Cateleya orchid on her victim to get Don Luis’s attention. Emilio learns that Cataleya has been choosing victims linked to Don and leaving a signature to alert him. He tells her to stop to avoid endangering their family members’ lives. Cataleya refuses, and Emilio relieves her of her contract-killing duties.

The FBI is also on Cataleya’s trail, and with a growing number of unsolved murders on their hands, they solicit the public’s help to find the Colombian Orchid Killer. Don Luis is currently in a witness protection programme overseen by the CIA when he learns that Fabio’s daughter is alive and well in the United States. He orders Marco and other operatives to find Cataleya before she can find him.

Colombiana (2011) Movie Ending, Explained

Cataleya goes to spend the night with her American boyfriend, Danny Delanay (Michael Vartan), and he takes a photo of her sleeping. He later shows it to a friend, Ryan (Billy Slaughter), who decides to run a background check on Cataleya, sending the image to his sister-in-law, a police clerk.

Meanwhile, Detective James Ross (Lennie James), the FBI agent working on the unsolved murders, gets a pin on Cataleya’s photo from the background check. He orders her arrest, and her location is traced. However, Cataleya escapes through the garage. She reaches out to Emilio, only to discover that he and his entire family have been tortured and killed by Don Luis’s men.

A devastated Cataleya then confronts Ross at his home, threatening to kill his wife and children if he doesn’t tell her where Don Luis is. Ross is forced to meet with CIA agent Steve Richard (Callum Blue), who knows where Don is being held in exchange for his cooperation with the American authorities. Richards resists at first. But when Cataleya fires a warning shot through his “bulletproof” office window with a sniper rifle, he discloses Don’s location.

Cataleya secures the floor plans of Don Luis’ mansion and kills all the guards on the premises. Next, she confronts and kills Marco, stabbing him in the neck after a violent scuffle. During the ensuing chaos, Don Luis escapes in a van.

Cataleya calls Don on Marco’s phone. But he laughs and vows that he will have his revenge. She had preemptively placed two attack dogs behind Don’s seat in his escape vehicle, and on her command, they mauled Don Luis to death.

Colombiana (2011) Movie Ending, Explained

Will Cataleya Remain A Wanted Woman?

We last see Danny being interrogated by Ross, who later realizes that Danny cannot be charged with any crime. Therefore, he is released. As soon as he steps outside, Cataleya calls him from a payphone. But their final exchange is bittersweet as they know that with the nature of her life, they can never truly be together.

She tells him he can ask her three questions, but he doesn’t use them all. Instead, the last thing Danny tells her is, “I love you.”He makes no attempt to learn more of her secrets, only that he still loves her despite her status as a wanted woman and the terrifying events they have just been through. They can live freely as long as they are willing to stay apart.

The film ends with Cataleya boarding an interstate bus headed for an unknown destination away from her lover and the authorities.

Since Colombiana’s premiere, critics have praised Zoë Saldaña’s acting skills and delivery but decried the erratic, sloppy film-making and superficial script. Other reviews suggested that when the break-ins and escapes become absurdly complex – and their motivations become increasingly confusing – Cataleya turns into the same thing we’ve seen before: a dish of revenge that’s not just served cold, it’s served reheated.

Many also speculated that Cataleya likely continues on in the only line of work she’s ever known, living out her days as a deadly assassin in another part of the world. It’s been a decade-plus since the film’s debut. However, considering Hollywood’s fondness for remakes and a ripe cliffhanger ending, it’s never too late for a stunning sequel.

Read More: The 10 Best Suspense Thriller Movies of 2022

Colombiana (2011) Trailer

Colombiana (2011) Links: IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, Wikipedia
Colombiana (2011) Cast: Zoe Saldana, Michael Vartan, Callum Blue
Where to watch Colombiana
Sasha Lee

Lee is a freelance journalist and writer based in Jamaica. She has seen every episode of The Golden Girls at least 5 times and her work has appeared in a variety of online publications. You can connect with her on Twitter @ohsashalee