More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

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

5 reviews, 18 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Lucky Grandma by Jay Seaver

Vast of Night, The by Peter Sobczynski

High Note, The by Peter Sobczynski

Taking of Tiger Mountain, The by Jay Seaver

Trip to Greece, The by Peter Sobczynski

Night God by Jay Seaver

Alice (2019) by Jay Seaver

On a Magical Night (Chambre 212) by Jay Seaver

Driveways by Jay Seaver

Free Country by Jay Seaver

subscribe to this feed

Babylon A.D.
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Rob Gonsalves

"Okay, what did I just watch, and who thought it was ready to release?"
1 stars

There’s not much I can do about "Babylon A.D." except to advise you not to see it until there’s an uncut DVD, if even then.

Anyone who cares about this Euro-scented, nonsensical movie has heard by now that it’s a mess, and that the blame should not be laid at the feet of star Vin Diesel or director Matthieu Kassovitz. Regardless, the version that’s in theaters is the version that the meddling studio, 20th Century-Fox, expects you to pay to see. As it stands, watching it is like trying to take in a late-night double feature of The Fifth Element and Children of Men while nodding off every ten minutes.

The film begins promisingly: disgruntled mercenary Toorop (Diesel) slouching through a rainy gun marketplace and clobbering some poor sap who sold him a bum weapon. We’re in The Future, Sometime, and Toorop gets tapped to escort mysterious young woman Aurora (Mélanie Thierry) to America along with her protector, Sister Rebeka (Michelle Yeoh). Why? Aurora is carrying something in her body; it could be the salvation or the doom of mankind. Based (loosely, I suspect) on a French sci-fi novel, the film takes the trio all over the globe without seeming to move. Bad men are after them, commanded by someone named the High Priestess, played by Charlotte Rampling, who has played high priestesses one way or another throughout her career and finally gets to be one officially. Her scene with Gerard Depardieu, though brief and conducted via video screens, will be good news for fans of art-house fare; it seems impossible, though, that this is indeed the first film in which both have appeared.

Word around the campfire is that Fox ordered Babylon A.D. trimmed by fifteen minutes to avoid an R rating. Who recut it, Stevie Wonder? The action sequences set a new standard for incoherence — at no point do we understand or even clearly see what’s happening, a disappointment for Michelle Yeoh fans looking forward to watching her show her stuff. It would take a committee of devout logicians to make sense of what’s left of the plot; much more than fifteen minutes seem to be missing, since the film proceeds in an almost non-sequitur fashion. (And people say David Lynch movies are confusing?) The annoyed director has complained in the press about what the studio did to his baby, though his name is still on the film and, one assumes, his paycheck.

The suspicion arises that "Babylon A.D." was never going to make much sense or to be much good. Matthieu Kassovitz is on record, but I’d like to hear from his credited cowriters, Eric Besnard and Joseph Simas, or from one of the many executive producers. I’d like to read the panicked memos written when the film reportedly went well north of its budget and its schedule. I’d like to see the international cut, which supposedly runs 101 minutes. Mostly, I’d like my 90 minutes back.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 09/01/08 05:34:41
[printer] printer-friendly format  

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
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  29-Aug-2008 (PG-13)
  DVD: 06-Jan-2009

  29-Aug-2008 (12A)

  02-Oct-2008 (M)
  DVD: 06-Jan-2009

[trailer] Trailer

Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast