HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Tales from the Hood
Radio Parade of 1935
Dead
Death at Broadcasting House
Huracan
Ghost Strata
Call to Spy, A
Tailgate
Other Lamb, The
Every Time I Die
Lynn + Lucy
Topsy-Turvy
Honest Thief
Blood and Money
Rose: A Love Story
Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made
Om Dar-B-Dar
Silencing, The
J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of SubGenius
Dick Johnson is Dead
Two/One
Cognition
Legacy of Lies
I Am Woman
Alien Addiction
Dare, The
South Terminal
Little Monsters
Yield to the Night
My Zoe
Young Playthings
End of Summer
Times of Harvey Milk, The
Buddies
Threshold
Perfectly Normal Family, A
Ravage
Honeymoon Phase, The
One Summer
Bird Island
   
 
Newest Articles
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
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure 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 4764 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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: