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Monday, June 15, 2009

Movie Review - Babylon AD

Movie Title
Babylon AD
Action, Sci-Fi

Immaculate Conception via Science?

Set in a bleak (aren’t they always?) future, Toorop (Vin Diesel), some kind of mean & heartless mercenary guy (aren’t they always?), accepts a job from the Russian mob to deliver a girl named Aurora (Mélanie Thierry) from a convent in Eastern Europe to America. Of course, things are never that simple.

Aurora, we learn, is a special girl who always seemed to knew things she had never learned (like how to pilot a submarine or use guns). These abilities were triggered by a “doctor” at the convent, who had given her a pill (the selfsame “doctor” who told her to go to America) just several months before she met Toorop. Accompanied by her Noelite Convent “guardian” nun Sister Rebeka (Michelle Yeoh), they begin their journey from Russia to America, while fleeing from mercenaries. We eventually learn that 2 groups are after her – a Religious Sect and their scientific opponents. When the trio reached Russia, they boarded a submarine that carried them to Canada, all the while with hired goons chasing after them.

In the rendezvous drop-off point in America, the “doctor” met Aurora once more and confirms that she was “pregnant” while keeping in mind that she had been in a convent all her life and had never seen a man until Toorop. Toorop realizes that something was amiss when he sees goons with guns gathering outside the apartment, and decides to wax heroic. A massive shootout ensues and Sister Rebeka bites it (thankfully) with Toorop to follow suit as a homing missile was trained on him. Aurora saves Toorop by shooting him, rendering him technically “dead” so that the missile would not home in on him, until he was later revived by her presumed-dead scientist father, having been turned into a cyborg.

There is yet another showdown with the pursuers and there was a happy ending after all the confrontations were done and explanations given (hmmm, maybe I wasn’t paying attention).

Altho’ much effort had been infused into it, somehow the acting has a going by the numbers feel to it. So even though I quite like Vin Diesel (especially in the Riddick Movies and in xXx), this one didn’t really do it for me.

Michelle Yeoh, unfortunately, was a different story. I can’t, for the life of me, recall any Hollywood movie she acted in that I liked. (OK, I kind of liked Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon a little but that was not really a Hollywood movie but more like a Hollywood-made Chinese movie.)

This is one confusing movie that left a really unpleasant taste after watching. As a rule of thumb, if one has to go online to read discussions to understand the movie, I would consider it as badly executed. This is such a movie.

Why were the 2 children of different colors? What did they represent? How does the Yin-Yang allegory tie back to what the Neolites were trying to achieve with this? Why were there so many loose ends at the end of the movie (that has no apparent sequel planned)?

Order your DVD copy here:

Rating: 5/10

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