movie film review | chris tookey

Babylon AD

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  Babylon AD Review
Tookey's Rating
3 /10
Average Rating
3.00 /10
Vin Diesel (pictured centre), Gerard Depardieu, Michelle Yeoh
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Directed by: Mathieu Kassovitz
Written by: Eric Besnard, Mathieu Kassovitz, Joseph Simas (English adaptation) adapted from Maurice G Dantec's novel Babylon Babies

Released: 2008
Origin: France/ Sweden/ US
Colour: C
Length: 101

Tedious clone of better sci-fi.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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Whatever happened to Vin Dieselís career? Around the time of Pitch Black (2000), The Fast and the Furious (2001) and xXx (2002), he seemed certain to become a major movie star. But then he made a succession of stinkers, in the form of A Man Apart (2002), Pitch Black 2 (2004) and The Pacifier (2005).

Now heís reduced to appearing in this dull, derivative European co-production, which feels like a lazily cobbled-together rip-off of Children of Men and Blade Runner.

Diesel plays a mercenary whoís hired by a criminal Mr Enorme (Gerard Depardieu) to transport a young woman with mysterious powers (Melanie Thierry) and her guardian (Michelle Yeoh) from Russia to New York. Why? We donít really know.

They are chased by people who seem to be religious (led by Charlotte Rampling) and who want the girl, for reasons which remain obscure. We canít even be sure that theyíre the bad guys until near the end.

The whole thing is cliched, tedious and absurdly underwritten. Plot and characterisation are negligible, and itís set in a world whose politics, economic state and culture are frustratingly unclear.

Director Mathieu Kassovitz burst on the scene in 1995 with the acclaimed urban thriller La Haine, but failed to conquer Hollywood with the inept Halle Berry shocker, Gothika (2003). This is, in some respects, even worse. He has little flair for action, and the staleness of the script is reflected only too accurately in the kind of action sequences that most of us have seen dozens of times before. Not even Diesel can power this one.

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