Babylon A.D.

Babylon A.D.
Directed by: Mathieu Kassovitz
Cast: Vin Diesel, Michelle Yeoh, Mélanie Thierry
Time: 1 hr 35 mins
Rating: PG-13

Quickcard Review

Plot: Toorip (Vin Diesel) is a mercenary hired to deliver a young woman (Mélanie Thierry) from post-apocalyptic Eastern Europe to New York City, but she has a mysterious secret that leads many to try and claim her as their own, including the religious group, the Neolites.

Overall: It doesn’t help when everyone struggles pronouncing Toorip’s name. I was thinking it might have been Tulip for the first half. But that’s not nearly the big problem here. It seems that director Kassovitz fully understands the world he is creating, but he never bothers to explain it to the rest of us.
The film starts with a voiceover from Diesel, and you remember how easy it is to like this guy in action films. For the first 20 minutes or so, there doesn’t seem to be any problems even though the dialogue is extremely basic with lines like, “I don’t trust anybody.” Michelle Yeoh does her best to capture some mystery as Sister Rebeka, protecting the even more mysterious Aurora, but mystery soon turns to annoyance.
I am sick of action films trying to sell you that they need to capture a character (in this case, Aurora) alive, yet they will constantly fire machine guns in her direction. Not the best idea.
The film completely falls apart right around the time when a mysterious (notice a theme) group of jumping men take Aurora, then Toorip shoots one, and they simply give up, even though supposedly she is the key to the universe, or something of the sort. The visuals aren’t bad and that’s part of what slightly saves this film. And even though the motivations are never explained, the atmosphere created sets a better stage of the future than the recent Death Race.
With all that said, sure it’s a bad film, but what makes it worse is the ending, which is the worst of the year.

Overall Score: 3 out of 10

1 Comment

  1. Paul says:

    A sad thing it was… but I thought the film had promise.

    It seemed as though the action scenes might have been tampered with, and that was one of my main gripes. Things were cut so fast and shakily that I couldn’t even place where anyone was with respect to someone else. You heard a lot of crunches and smashes but never really saw anything connect. This isn’t what I go to the pictures for, but when its this bad… you notice!

    Visually the film was very good. The dank, urban grit of post-apocalyptic Russia was convincing and interesting (I really liked that grimey aesthetic scene of him having to buy an animal and cut it up and cook it himself in his apartment.). Many of the other locales, particularly new york – also delivered. If it were a graphic novel perhaps it would have been better.

    But the actual story…? Crucial information was left out everywhere and the ending was blatantly abrupt and unexplained. Furthermore nothing really meant anything at the end of the day, issues should have been raised or some kind of point made.

    I would like to see Vin Diesel do something as good as or better then Pitch Black, and I hope this isn’t the end of that possibility.

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