Babylon A.D.

This is probably just going to be a relatively short review. In a futuristic time, mercenary/smuggler Toorop (Vin Diesel) is an American living in a war-torn, violent, uber-ghetto Russia. He's suddenly hired to smuggle a mysterious Russian girl, Aurora (Melanie Thierry), and her guardian, Sister Rebeka (Michelle Yeoh), to America within 6 days. Along the way, a lot of stuff happens with people trying to stop them or with just trying to get across the border safely.

To start off with the good, the visuals, both special effects and cinematography, were amazing. The grittiness of Russia; the vastness of the Bering Straight; the overly-commercialized New York; the brilliant special effects—everything just worked together nicely to pull off one really good looking film.

     However, one negative aspect to the visual style was the fight scenes, though only those wherein there was physical fist-fighting. It was slightly annoying in that it would constantly cut out just before the moment of impact to where you would never actually see the hit. And with both Vin Diesel and Michelle Yeoh fighting, that's pretty lame. The other action-type sequences, however, were done very nicely.

     Another negative issue, and this won't really come as a shock to most, was the acting. I mean, the acting was pretty bad. And I don't just mean from Vin, but from pretty much every actor/actress in the film. And part of that might have had to do with some of the dialogue they were given, but some of it was just... eh.

     The story, on the other hand, was good. The movie started off a bit slow. It doesn't really start to pick up until after the first 30 or so minutes. But after then, it gets pretty good. The movie almost comes off as more of a mystery with action than an action movie with mystery. The whole movie is about figuring out what the heck is actually going on with this girl he's transporting (even though the trailer pretty much spoils it if you pay attention closely enough). But you don't really find out until the end. And speaking of the ending, this is where the movie starts to get a bit shaky. It's interesting, but it all starts to go in an awkward direction and gets a bit choppy. And then the very end (the final scene)... I'm not sure what it was about it, but it just really bugged me. I couldn't put my finger on it in the theater, and I still can't now, but I just knew that the quick final scene was, frankly, silly and poorly done.

     Otherwise, the movie was entertaining. The acting, ending, and fight scenes bring it down a bit, but the (at the very least) intriguing story and amazing visuals shoot it up a bit, as well. And I enjoyed the bit of social commentary that flowed throughout the film, whether directly or subtly. And that's really all about I have to say on it.

Reviewed by: Nick
7 Comment(s)
Adam said...
Are you serious? haha - I watched some of this at the theater tonight and it was absolutely awful. We sold... maybe 30 tickets for it the whole night... tanked.

If the director is even hating on it, I think the verdict's out ha.
Paul said...
...and if so, why so serious?
Nick said...
Oh, there's no doubt the movie is bad. Notice all my comments about the bad acting and whatnot. However, the reason I gave it such a high score was because of the visuals and the, at the very least, interesting story.

In other words, this is a new guilty pleasure movie for me. Nothing more than that.

I mean, he didn't have the best starting material. I looked up the book it's based on on Amazon, and every review for the book is pretty awful.

So... yeah.

For clarification, this movie is by no means a great piece of film... I just enjoyed it in the guilty pleasure kind of way (and, again, because I really did love the visuals).
From the previews it looked like Serenity Riddick.
Adam said...
4% on Rotten Tomatoes... wow.
Shea said...
well..i have to admit... i caught about 45 minutes of this movie. ANd I have to admit I was digging it. I can't wait to watch it on a non pirated and audio synced copy.

I love the director's style. Crimson Rivers is one of my favorites.
I really feel that the whole movie should have been compressed into a 5 minute lead in to the actual movie.