HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Iceman
Blue Sky
Tokyo Dragon Chef
Pittsburgh
12 Hour Shift
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Fatman
   
 
Newest Articles
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
   
 
  Babylon A.D. The future sucks
Year: 2008
Director: Mathieu Kassovitz
Stars: Vin Diesel, Mélanie Thierry, Michelle Yeoh, Lambert Wilson, Mark Strong, Gérard Depardieu, Charlotte Rampling, David Gasman
Genre: Action, Thriller, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 2 votes)
Review: In the far-flung future, hard-bitten mercenary Toorop (Vin Diesel) is seconds away from being blown to bits. In flashback he recalls how Russian mobster Gorsky (an inexplicably dubbed Gérard Depardieu) hired him to escort a mysterious package safely from Mongolia to New York City. That package turns out to be Aurora (Mélanie Thierry), an angelic young woman with psychic powers, under the guardianship of Noelite nun Sister Rebeka (Michelle Yeoh). As they embark on a dangerous journey across Eastern Europe, various gunmen and assassins try to steal Aurora away, while a shadowy religious group led by the High Priestess (Charlotte Rampling) trails their every move.

Based on the novel Babylon Babies by Maurice Georges Dantec, it’s hard to evaluate Mathieu Kassovitz’s intentions since his movie emerged as a shadow of what it was intended to be. Kassovitz spent six years developing the project, with regular collaborator Vincent Cassel originally set to star, before Twentieth Century Fox pumped in some extra cash and foisted Vin Diesel as the new lead. With Fox executives’ constant interference, reputed clashes with Diesel, and his final cut reassembled according to the studio’s wishes, it’s little wonder Kassovitz wound up bad-mouthing his own movie.

Emerging as a weird cross between Blade Runner (1982), The Transporter (2002) and one of those Italian rip-offs of The Omen (1976), Babylon A.D. has promising ingredients (a genetically engineered babe messiah, pseudo-religious conspiracies, Michelle Yeoh as a kung fu kicking nun) that a Hong Kong or Euro exploitation movie would do crazy things with. Here, they’re presented in prosaic fashion as the film goes from one, dreary chase or fight sequence to another amidst East European locations that are believably squalid, but uninteresting. Like a lot of science fiction, this deals with present anxieties in the guise of future shock.

Its characters re-enact the immigrant experience, joining hundreds who brave human traffickers, disease, violence and perilous journeys to reach an America portrayed the way these people see it: vast, garish and oppressive. However, the need to keep the action fast and furious curtails what should be the core story: Aurora being gradually exposed to vast human suffering and how that motivates her to seize her destiny. When she tries to help drowning immigrants board a submarine, Toorop just knocks her out cold. So much for that. Mélanie Thierry continues to develop as an interesting actress, doing a lot with a little, while Michelle Yeoh endures Toorop’s insults and busts some martial arts moves, before the plot casts her aside like old rope.

The film seems locked in a struggle between a more interesting apocalyptic sci-fi thriller and your typical Vin Diesel action movie. The gravel-voiced one plays his usual anti-social thug, whose kill or be killed ethos supposedly mellows throughout the movie, although that is far from convincing. As in Pitch Black (2000) and XXX (2001), we’re meant to admire his badass attitude, but Diesel is so keen on tough guy posturing he fails to give one, convincing line reading. Which renders dialogue like: “You need two things to live in this world. Your word and your balls. Unlike you I have both” or the moment he tells Michelle Yeoh’s kindly nun “don’t fuck with me”, obnoxious and silly. A snowmobile chase is well-staged, though confuses with its participants hidden behind masks, and the last twenty minutes bring a chaotic onslaught of mad ideas amidst bullets and explosions. Still, chalk this up as a missed opportunity, although it hurts less to watch than it must have for Mathieu Kassovitz to make.

Click here for the trailer

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 4891 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Mathieu Kassovitz  (1967 - )

French writer, director and actor. As writer and director, he made his biggest impact with electrifying urban drama La Haine. Assassin(s) followed, a longer version of one of his short films, then he moved into the thriller/horror genre with The Crimson Rivers and Gothika, sci-fi with the doomed Babylon A.D and real life drama in Rebellion. As an actor, he's best known for being the "hero" in A Self-Made Hero and as the heroine's romantic interest in Amelie.

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: