Babylon A.D.

Babylon A.D.

(2008)

Vin Diesel is back, and this time he's Toorop, a war veteran turned mercenary who takes on a high risk mission of escorting a woman from Russia to China. What he doesn't know is that the journey will carry an extra level of danger due to the identity of his companion. She is in fact host to an organism that a cult wants to harvest in order to genetically modify a new messiah. Interestingly, a couple of big names from world cinema, Michelle Yeoh and Gerard Depredieu appear, not the usual suspects to co-star in a Vin Diesel sci-fi action fest.... More

If you believe in omens… Babylon AD went so far over schedule and budget that the production's insurance company had to step in and bail it out. See director Mathiew Kassovitz's comments about the film's production HERE.Hide

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Flicks Review

Filmmaker Mathieu Kassovitz was wise to disown this cack-handed dystopian action clanger. He's right, it is "pure violence and stupidity", and by saying so while pointing at his producers (who hacked scenes to make it a US PG-13) there's a hint that maybe on the cutting room floor, or at least the original storyboard, was something much better.

But who knows? Kassovitz still must have presided over a lazy, dunderheaded Vin Diesel performance, attempting to break into sensitivity half way through and only succeeding in sounding like he desperately needs to cough up the remnants of a biscuit. He must also have seen rushes of Gerard Depardieu making a total berk of himself as a cackling underworld boss, and Michelle Yeoh's completely improbable ninja nun workouts. Unless he was literally bound and gagged in the corner while the cameras rolled, he can't be entirely blameless.

Still, the sheer obviousness of the continuity howlers (anyone know who the kid is on Yeoh's knee in the train?), plus the jarring mood swings - one second there's death and trauma in the snow, the next everyone's chuckling heartily - and the tacked-on, pathetic ending, all do point to a bloodbath in the editing suite. So perhaps somewhere amidst the fudged 'people smuggling/new dominant religion' themes, the naff characters and the relentlessly dumb chase sequences was a genuinely thought-provoking sci-fi thriller, aborted because the producers think most filmgoers are idiots.

Diesel apparently quit the lead role in Hitman to do this. If ever there was a 'frying pan' and 'fire' moment, that was it, because this sounds like it was a dog's dinner of a production, and it's resulted in a misfiring, frequently incomprehensible mess of a movie. Save your cash.


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 2 ratings, 2 reviews
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BY Bonux superstar

Kassovitz shown real talent with La Haine. Pity for that adaptation because Dantec's books are really worth reading if you can find the English edition. Read "Les racines du mal" (The Roots of Evil), "L? o? tombent les anges" (Where the Angels fall), and Babylon Babies of course. These are all post-apocalyptic novels. Maurice Dantec and Pierre Boule (Planet of the Apes) are probably the two most famous writers in French fantastic litterature of the 20th century. That movie does not make Dantec... More justice and misses the point completely.Hide


exciting, intence everything you could ever want in a movie!


The Press Reviews

6% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Our judgments, in any case, may be superfluous, since the director, Mathieu Kassovitz, has already publicly described it as "pure violence and stupidity." Full Review

  • With a face like a dropped pie, the eyes of a rabid weasel and the body of a small truck, Mrs Diesel's boy Vin has still managed to parlay his limited chops into a respectable career. Full Review

  • A noisier, costlier version of "Children of Men," yet lacking that film's social-political significance and jaw-dropping direction. Full Review