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Overall Rating

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look: 0%
Average: 22.92%
Pretty Bad: 33.33%
Total Crap43.75%

5 reviews, 18 user ratings

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Babylon A.D.
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by Charles Tatum

"Hollywood's Babylon"
3 stars

This much maligned Vin Diesel film doesn't deserve all the hate it has received, but I wouldn't let it off the hook, either.

In a rather simple story, mercenary Toorop (Vin Diesel) is hired by Gorsky (Gerard Depardieu, sporting the ugliest make up in film history...I hope that's makeup) to deliver a girl to from Mongolia to New York. This is all well and good, except the film takes place in the future, where terrorism, global warming, and a new cult-like religion rule an overpopulated planet (New York City's head count is at 32 million). Toorop picks up the girl, Aurora (Melanie Thierry), and Aurora's adoptive mother, Sister Rebeka (Michelle Yeoh).

Toorop and his charge encounter a lot of what you might expect in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, but director Mathieu Kassovitz acts as if you haven't seen a Mad Max film, and almost gets away with it. His action sequences are insanely good, rivaling a James Bond film in their excitement. His vision of the future owes a lot to "Blade Runner" (it's funny to see that Coca-Cola owns EVERYTHING), although motel water credits and everywhere-advertising isn't that far from the imagination.

The film was dumped in theaters in late summer of 2008 with almost no advertising, and Kassovitz disowned his creation. I watched the 101 minute uncut version on video (not bothering with the ninety minute theatrical version, which apparently is incomprehensible), but the longer version is still unsatisfying. Diesel plays well with the other cast mates, turning in a nice performance, although the tough mercenary who develops a conscience has been seen before. Charlotte Rampling comes along late as the high priestess of the cult, and this turn in the plot feels all wrong. I'm not familiar with Maurice Dantec's source novel, but the ending, which seemed to hopefully set up a sequel or franchise, is infuriating mostly because you know "Babylon A.D. Part II" is not on anyone's horizon. I am not sure if this longer version is simply more action and plot added to recoup losses (the film was a box office disaster), or if Kassovitz had a hand in this version. Either way, I hope we don't get a bunch of versions of this over the next few years, just like "Blade Runner."

"Babylon A.D." is an interesting failure, and full of irony. In a future run by mega-corporations, the film was mucked up by...a mega-corporation. The future is now, it seems.

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originally posted: 02/17/14 11:46:40
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User Comments

6/15/11 My apples are rotting Gets kind of a harsh time from critics. So-so but hardly horrible. 3 stars
7/08/09 mr.mike OK to watch on Cinemax. 3 stars
6/17/09 Man Out 6 Bucks Huh? Rug pulled out from under plot last fourty minutes makes no sense 1 stars
2/09/09 Grimlix Not quite a torrid as people said, but still mightily unbalanced and poorly edited 2 stars
1/10/09 yubbauk confusing weak script weak ending i left feeling thank god thats over. 1 stars
11/29/08 M Vin Diesel is so much better than THIS! 3 stars
10/31/08 Sisterhood Of The Raveling Pants Aurora an intriguing character but inadequately explained. Alive or dead at end of movie? 3 stars
10/31/08 Lenny Zane Lots of suspenseful buildup to.........essentialy no place to go. 3 stars
10/22/08 Erik This is the kind of movie that deserves one star only 1 stars
9/26/08 steve owen 'babble on a.d.d' should be the title 1 stars
9/15/08 hfm Moriazbane, my thoughts exactly, I was apalled when they faded to black after that scene 2 stars
9/13/08 A nice idea... ...terribly executed. Kassovitz should be able to do so much better!! 2 stars
9/06/08 andres danu ubaya teknik 2005 - mojoagung shitty thing!!! go to hell 1 stars
9/06/08 Moriazbane Uh..we are still waiting...maybe they showed the ending after the credits? 1 stars
9/01/08 james crap crap crap crap crap 1 stars
8/31/08 contrer No resolution to the story - leaves you hanging in the end or waiting for a sequel. 2 stars
8/30/08 Darkstar Rent "Children of Men" skip this piece of shit 1 stars
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  29-Aug-2008 (PG-13)
  DVD: 06-Jan-2009

  29-Aug-2008 (12A)

  02-Oct-2008 (M)
  DVD: 06-Jan-2009

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