Vin Diesel, Michelle Yeoh, Gérard Depardieu, Mark Strong, Mélanie Thierry
and Charlotte Rampling
need you to die"
Toorop (Diesel) is given a job that he cannot refuse by Russian mobster Gorsky
(Depardieu). That job is to deliver a girl named Aurora (Thierry) and her
guardian Sister Rebeka (Yeoh) to New York but this is not going to be easy.
Toorop is wanted for terrorism in the US and as the rest of the world falls
into economic decline and chaos, the US has closed is borders and become an
isolated power governed by new world religions, one of which is paying for
Aurora to be smuggled into the county because the High Priestess (Rampling)
sees her as a religious icon.
apocalyptic action thrillers are nothing new to cinema but can Vin Diesel
and French actor/director Mathieu Kassovitz bring anything new to the genre?
turned director Mathieu Kassovitz tackles his second Hollywood movie after
the Halle Berry horror starrer 'Gothika' but while he continues to show a
visual flair, 'Babylon A.D.' is a mess. Based on the novel 'Babylon Babies'
by Maurice G. Dantec, the plot starts off simple enough but soon becomes lost
in its own self-importance and confusion.
premise seems simple at first. Mercenary Toorop is forced into accepting a
job for Russian mobster Gorsky, to transport a package to New York. The package
however, is a young girl and her guardian but there is more to her than Toorop
ever thought. Called Aurora, she is product of a genetic experiment and just
might hold the future for Noelite religious order. Mixing science and religious
isn't a new concept for futuristic movies and can be an exceptionally challenging
storyline for any movie but the way 'Babylon A.D.' handles this is a complete
concept is fine but the execution is terrible and confusing with no explanation
or reason for many of the plot twists and turns. Starting off quite well,
introducing a Russia and Asia in economic meltdown and ran by crime and the
gun, it is the final third of the movie that leads the viewer into complete
confusion and disbelief as to how the movie actually ends. With stories of
problems on the production, studio interference and director Mathieu Kassovitz
not having final cut, the movie becomes a complete disaster for all involved.
is no denying that Vin Diesel is an action star with great promise, as he
showed in the 'Riddick' movies but his choices haven't been the greatest since
breaking onto the scene in 'Pitch Black' and 'The Fast & the Furious'. As
mercenary Toorop, he shows again that he can make an excellent anti-hero but
with this material he doesn't really have enough to do. Martial arts legend
Michelle Yeoh is completely wasted as Aurora's guardian Sister Rebeka, as
the fight sequences are shot so close to the actors, you can't really see
her do what she is most famous for. Gérard Depardieu and Charlotte Rampling
are reduced to cameos as Gorsky and the High Priestess. French actress Mélanie
Thierry fairs a little better as Aurora, but this is not going to be the Hollywood
movie that gets her noticed in the US.
A.D.' is another example of a science fiction movie that relies too much on
act sequences and a visual flair to sell it to an audience. For a much bleaker
but all the more satisfying look at a possible future watch the stunning 'Children
of Men' because this effort is a complete mess.
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