Jonathan Ecks, an FBI agent, realizes that he must join with his lifelong enemy, Agent Sever, a rogue DIA agent with whom he is in mortal combat, in order to defeat a common enemy. That enemy has developed a "micro-device" that can be injected into victims in order to kill them at will. Written by
"Well, I'll try to explain this as best as I can: I did my first cut which as I understood it was just that-my first cut which was the script as shot and fine tuned. There were scenes I wasn't sure of, but liked. And we also tested the movie; One scene in particular lost the audience and the experience wasn't very good. It was a little heavy on melodrama, and I own that. I loved the scene, but also was afraid it wouldn't work and could easily be cheesy. But again, I honestly felt that was what the tests were for, and I was wrong. We didn't score well and based on that test, two producers who I was already having issues with for various reasons basically just took over the movie. I found out as I was on my way to the editing room two days after the test screening and just a day after having a big meeting with Warner Bros. executives and marketing people, who were terrific by the way. By the time I got to the edit suites, my editor was Caroline Ross, a wonderful person and a great editor, was also fired and replaced, after all those hours and weeks I spent with her. And I wasn't too pleased to say the least. So, after consulting with my agents at CAA, it was decided it was best to just walk away quietly and they'd focus on getting my next job. I still had a great relationship with the executives at Warner Bros. I had things in development with Fox 2000 and RKO and we'd just move on. The problem was, I couldn't. I'd shot an old school actioner in 2002 with the Steve McQueen classic Bullitt as my template. My DP and I had specific needs to be met with the way we shot it, especially when it came to all the action scenes I choreographed while working with Joel Kramer - one the best stunt coordinators in his field. But despite our best efforts, the movie was butchered to the point where certain shots were flipped because the edit no longer made sense. And yes, this also affected the sequencing and pacing of the action - it was horrible to watch. Just so you know, I had only ever seen the theatrical cut once with no audio, during the colour grade with Julio, my DP. At the premier I waited until the movie had been playing for thirty minutes before taking my seat. I did this because I knew the movie was bad. I pretty much hyperventilated for the whole evening." (Wych Kaosayananda on producer's interference with the film and his reaction with how it turned out) See more »
In the covered garage, before Ecks encounters Sever, he manually loads a shotgun round into the already open breech, then moves the slide into place, racking the new round. It is obviously ready to shoot. When he encounter Sever, the gun makes the sound of a shotgun slide being racked, as though there was no round in the chamber. See more »
Good evening Mrs. Gant.
What does my husband want now?
The plan has changed. He is now available to spend time with Michael.
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`Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever' has been saddled with not only one of the worst movie titles in recent memory, but one of the worst screenplays as well. The film's third-rate espionage plot makes no sense at all and serves basically as a lame excuse for endless explosions, shootouts and double-flipping car chases, which have become the standard accoutrements for virtually every action picture since `Bullitt' in 1968.
The problem with `Ballistic' is that the viewer can never tell who is doing what to whom or why and we never care. The film is really all about style anyway. How else to account for the rather ludicrous image of Lucy Liu - looking more like a fashion model out on a shoot than a trained killer doing the shooting herself - strolling in elegant slow motion through the streets of Vancouver, wiping out what seems to be an entire hit squad with a combination of superhuman marksmanship and Matrix-like kickboxing moves? With her ankle-length designer coat and her icy-cool demeanor, she looks like Calvin Klein's idea of what the well-dressed assassin should be wearing this season. It's enough to reduce the whole enterprise to the level of comic absurdity and, indeed, I often found myself laughing out loud at many of the ostensibly serious shenanigans occurring in the film. The flashbacks, which are obviously intended to clarify the characters' relationships, are so poorly done that they actually end up making the whole story more muddled and confusing. (And, although the child-kidnapping scenario is never as offensive in this film as it is in `Trapped,' one can still question the propriety of filmmakers running to this theme with the kind of frequency they seem to have been doing of late).
Antonio Banderas makes up the other half of the film's title (he is Ecks, she Sever), and one only wonders what he could have been thinking about when he signed on to co-star in this particular project. `Ballistic' is utterly dispensable moviemaking: here today, forgotten tomorrow, a film utterly without distinction, conviction or purpose.
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