Sunday, September 7, 2008

Review - Babylon A.D.

In the future a mercenary named Toorop is hired to escort a woman from Central Asia to New York. Toorop quickly finds out that he accepted a mission alot more dangerous than expected. The woman he is transporting is carrying two genetically modified twins, who under the control of a religious cult may become the next messiahs. Toorop must make a costly decision; risk his life in order to save the life of the woman and her two unborn children or make good on his contract and deliver them into the hands of the religious cult.

It is no secret that Babylon A.D. director Matthieu Kassovitz isn't pleased with the cut of the film that released in theaters, and let's just say, neither am I. Realistically, I question I how much better the film would be even if Kassovitz had his say. Babylon A.D. reminds me of a bad version of Serenity. Diesel is hired to transport a girl who he has no idea what power she holds. By the time Diesel and the viewer realize what is at stake, the viewer is uninterested in the anticlimatic outcome. Furthermore, the overall execution of the story and finale were just not intriguing in the slightest.

Vin Diesel, who I am a big fan of, does the best he could do with what he was given, which wasn't much. Diesel's character just seems like a bad hodge-podge of other scifi mercenarys. Diesel who has his own scifi series in Riddick would have been better fit, playing a far darker character. Here in Babylon A.D. he is setup as a badass, but instead seems far to easy going throughout. His character has no comic relief and feels stale throughout giving the viewer no reason to connect with him. His character is never really put into anything that devasting for what is at risk either. The finale which is foreshadowed in the begining was handled carelessly and leaves the viewer utterly disappointed.

Babylon A.D. was adapted from the book "Babylon Babies" by Maurice Georges Dantec and just feels poorly executed. Kassovitz has gone record saying he was never able to shoot the film the way he intended, but even then the story wasn't very intriguing or original. The majority of the scenes did feel only glazed over to Kassovitz credits, so I can see where the producers played a heavy hand in the editing and creation of the film. Especially in the submarine scene, what happened there? That scene could have had some major impact on the viewer and it was chopped and edited to the point, it lost all its significance.

Ultimately Babylon A.D. was a bad attempt at scifi genre film. Majority of the film goes no where and by the time it picks up steam, the viewer has lost their interest. Michelle Yeoh who usually is a phenominal actress is underutilized, while Mélanie Thierry as the carrier of the unborn twins was a major disappointment. She did not grab the viewers attention or give any reason to be concerned with her outcome. Diesel like the rest of the film was also a let down throughout. Overall Babylon A.D. was 90 minute was of time.