|Page 1 of 28:||          |
|Index||278 reviews in total|
Start out with the Lucy Liu character. Wear a long coat and slacks
everywhere you go. Look into a mirror and erase every expression you have.
Speak about once every few hours.
Then you can do the Banderas character. Don't shave. Muss your hair. Put 15 jumbo olives in your mouth when you speak. Shuffle when you walk.
Oh yeah special effects. Let the gas on your stove run for about 10 seconds without lighting it. Then light it. Say "Boom". Repeat 100 times.
You can get a copy of the script really easy: Buy 10 comic books. Tear a couple of pages out of each one and staple the pieces together. Be sure that they don't fit too well together. They don't even have to be right side up.
If you do this, you won't need to rent this stinker.
Let's be honest with ourselves for a moment. In a movie like this, the
producers don't pay expensive actors to act or to create realistic
performances or to use their talents to win our sympathy. No, they pay
these actors for face and name recognition, so when a movie like
Ballistic: Banderas vs Liu comes along we don't have the inconvenience
of learning about characters and plot. Hell, we don't even have the
inconvenience of wondering, "Is this actor hot while all this
excitement rushes them by?" Name recognition, baby, it's all marketed
by name recognition.
And why should they let actors acting take up precious moments from the rooftop chases, the explosions, the gunfire, and posing like models? Everyone already knows these actors right? No need to develop anything more than flimsy excuses for action/motivation, right? Sarcasm aside - I never thought I'd hear myself say this, but I think Ballistic would have been a better, more sophisticated, film if they scrapped the plot and cliché character developments and just went for 90 minutes of uninterrupted Banderas and Liu gunning at each other backdropped by a slow-mo explosions.
This film would have to scale a cliff before reaching the level of plot intricacies and intelligence that just thrive in Michael Bay films.
We get a crappy plot and crappy characterizations anyway just in case we don't have a favorite actor to root for. We get ultra cliché scenarios that anyone who has been to a theatre in the last fifty years will pick up on. Oh no, a child's been kidnapped we're supposed to sympathize with the boy. There's the old (young?) has-been former cop (FBI guy in this movie) who lost his motivation we're supposed to sympathize with him and the loss of his family. And then there's--oh, but wait? What are these plot revelations? What are they pointing towards? Gasp! They're making the already obvious villain even more obvious! Me? I was rooting for the aliens from Independence Day to come down and blow them all up, but the bastards got stuck in traffic.
Somewhere in the movie is a subplot about a nano-assassin, but I cared about that as much as the movie does.
And since we're being honest, I admit this is a great film to watch after a night of provocative and cultured cinema to recalibrate your personal scale to the realities of the industry. Like I explained to the guy at Blockbuster, "I just got a box-set of Hitchcock, been watching those back to back, and the other day I watched De Palma's Femme Fatale. I need something trashy before I become a full-blown film snob." So I walked out with Ballistic and Shark Attack 3, went home, and turned off my mind for a marathon of stock footage and needless gunfire/explosions . . . and all was well.
`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.
I liked the trailers, I hoped for the best and then sat in dumbstruck horror as one of the worst films ever made (as in so bad its painful to watch bad) unspooled before my eyes. Rumor has it that the film makers know a thing about movie making. I know the cast does, but what wanders across the screen looks like the dailies of a really bad TV commercial put together by someone with no sense of film structure. I'm told that this has something to do with two assassins fighting each other after some one is kidnapped, but I'm not certain since things just sort of happen for no real reason. I would like to think that this movie was a big joke on the movie going public but no one would want to spend what it cost to make this movie as a joke, especially when there was no hope of ever getting the money back in ten thousand life times. A void unless your eyes need to experience cinematic blunt force trauma applied to them.
Once in a while, a movie comes out that just defies logic. Sometimes logic is defied in how rewarding the watching experience was, say like with the Sixth Sense. Sometimes logic is defied in such a way as to make you question the mental state of those involved with giving this movie the "greenlight". This is not necessarily a good thing. This movie hurts on so many levels that it could be considered a cruel and inhuman torture to be made to sit through this. Everything about this movie screams bargain bin. With the exception of one scene (see below), this movie pretty much blows. Antonio Banderas is absolutely useless in this picture. You'd think from the ad campaign, let alone the fact that the movie is titled "Ecks vs. Sever", that he would be more of a serious ass kicker. No, no. The only one who gets to do any serious ass kicking is Lucy Liu and I'm 100% positive that she did this one only to pay the bills. Even with that revelation, she still sucked in it. The direction is pretty much what you'd expect from someone who goes by the name, "Kaos" but sometimes I'd like a little order to my chaos, ya know? I read a quote somewhere, where they said, 'who knew so much action could be so boring?' That's definitely the case here. Yeah there's a lot of action but it's of the direct-to-video variety. God, help me but this movie sucked. It wasn't even of the "so bad, it's good" type of flick. The story is incomprehensible, something about microscopic termites and little babies blown to smithereens and wives that bounce on you and the guy from Payback and.... AARRRRGGGHHH!!! I wouldn't recommend this to anyone. I can't recommend this to anyone. I'll give it a 1/2* out of ***** ONLY and I repeat, ONLY because of the aforementioned scene where some guy is knocked off of a rooftop by a grenade launcher and is shown falling to his death onto a parked car. If you want one reason to watch this, that's it. But don't say I didn't warn you.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a review chock full of spoilers. I find it difficult to express
I disliked this film as much as I did without expressly pointing out key
scenes and events that made me cringe while attempting to enjoy a
thoughtless summer film. I did approch this film as just that. I am a guy
who likes a thoughtless action film more often than not. I love thoughtful
ones but the thoughtless ones can truly be fun. xXx comes to mind. I was
expecting something along those lines when I came to see Ballistic. What
turned out to be was a number of explosions that seemed to occur for no
reason what so ever. To say there was little plot bringing these
together is a given. That comes with the territory, but in this case the
reasons are even below the lowest C movie in quality. No one reacts to an
event the way you'd expect a normal human being to react. In fact the two
main characters were so devoid oh personality I have come to wonder
or not they were both blackmailed into performing the roles. I'm used to
Lucy Liu not showing any on screen personality but Antonio consistently
show's his "Latin Lover" charm. Not here.
* spoilers begin below *
Everyone is out to get Lucy Liu. No one seems to know where to find her. In fact they need to draw an FBI agent 7 years out of retirement to capture her. His groundbreaking method of investigation is to sit in a car listen to a radio and carry on dull conversations with secondary characters. Meanwhile across town Lucy Liu is walking in circles for no reason in a coffee bar. The bad guys know this and have snipers set up all over the place that would make the Kennedy assassination look like amateur night. How is it that they don't know where she hides out but knows when and where she's going to walk in circles? After giving the order not to hurt her immediately all snipers try to kill her and an overly armed SWAT team hit's the scene. By overly armed I mean they have grenade launchers and heavy machine-guns all designed to kill as many innocent bystanders as possible. In fact the FX crew even botched the way rifle mounted grenade launches work and turned them into mini rocket launchers. But fear not, they don't use them. They are just there for Lucy to pick up and level 12 city blocks with. I often wondered how it is if she were so professional she'd stand in one place and take on an army rather than just slip away in the crowd.
Once the mayhem is complete Antonio arrives glances at a few bullet holes and declares that the FBI should pick up and not investigate the devastation because `she's not done here.' I was able to relate to the FBI assistant directors baffled expression in this scene because I wouldn't know what to say to one of my agents who asked me to pull out all of my investigators cause the criminal might be coming back. Wouldn't you want to catch her?
Skipping ahead to what I assume is the largest injustice here. Antonio finds his wife to learn that for the past 7 years she was in bed with the big bad guy of the film. Married to him in fact. He confronts her in an aquarium while she is contentedly looking at whales, which must be where she goes whenever her son is kidnapped and threatened to be killed within 12 hours. And she also proceeded to have Antonio's son, who has been raised by her and the man who;
1) Tried to hill Antonio's character.
2) Faked the death of himself and Antonio's wife in an effort to `have her to himself'. Which evidently worked for 7 years.
When confronted she reveals that she had knowledge that Antonio was not dead and in fact always really loved him and not the big villain. She only stayed with him to `protect their son'. By having the son live with this guy? Give me a break! But what's worse is Antonio's reaction. He instantly understands and forgives her. No anger, no slap for her lack of logic. It's all OK. Lets go get the bad guy now. Honestly that ended the film for me. I was through.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I gave this movie a 3 of 10 which, I guess, makes me one of its biggest
fans in my age group(I'm 41, and the highest ratings for this film
averaged 2.5 at the time of my writing and were limited to sub-18 year
Banderas and Liu saved this film from deserving the rating it got here on IMDb. The film is certainly pointless, loaded with ridiculous plot twists and absurd action sequences, but how many action films don't fit this description? Seriously, if you want to see what two entertaining actors and a lot of wasted film can do together, this film is worth a look. it's plot heavy, bit soul-less and clichéd, but entertaining nonetheless.
I turned it on at 3AM one sleepless night because I wanted to see what the heck Liu and Banderas were doing in a direct to video film. Expecting a thoroughly dreadful film, I was pleasantly surprised, and found the film to be entertaining. The film views like a series of strung together early-80s MTV videos with a contemporary hard rock sound track, plenty of loud noises and explosions, and, thankfully, few words.
To the extent that I remember it, the plot was about Banderas trying to rescue his wife and son from the clutches of some very evil super-secret spy types (who are nevertheless apparently exceedingly inept). A lot of stuff got blown up - in fact most of the sets were heavily rigged with explosives which seemed to go off at random intervals. Of course there were a lot of gunshots, fists, and kicks. I don't recall any swords or phasers though. If I say anything about Lucy Liu at all, I will give away the rest of the plot (which ought to tell you something about the quality of the script and the complexity of the plot) Lighten up! It's bad, but it's just a B movie. And this is what B movies are supposed to be about. By the way, a better choice for an utterly stupid action/violence flick is the masterpiece of violence surrealism "Mean Guns"
When I say "Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever" was incredible, I don't mean that in a good way. All the main characters are current or former US federal agents, presumably to keep it interesting, but all the action takes places in Vancouver, BC, which, last time I looked, was not in the United States. The basic storyline was fairly straightforward (and rather hackneyed), but the motivations of the various characters were utterly incomprehensible. The film was somewhat on the short side, and I couldn't escape the feeling that the three scenes which might have tied together the loose ends inexplicably ended up on the cutting room floor. Banderas phoned in his performance (for God's sake, enunciate, man), and the musical score was just irritating. The only two things "Ballistic" had going for it were the presence of some rarely-seen hardware (fun for you firearms buffs) and some spectacular action sequences (though these were plagued by some annoying clichés, such as a protective vest preventing all injury to a character, and henchmen showing complete disregard for personal safety), and these were simply not enough to save this turkey. Avoid.
Oh my. Where do I start with this one. Let me just say, this is the film that turned me off from Hollywood action films for good. Swayed by the cool poster and sweet tv ads, I actually paid $10 to see this at the cinema. Boy, was I a fool. I was expecting to see a fun, enjoyable action flick, but that isn't what I got. This excuse for an action film has to be the most boring and dull excuses for a movie I've ever seen. Don't listen to those who tell you it's a fun, mindless action film... it's not. Sure, there are lots of explosions, guns, martial arts and what not... but it has nothing to back it up. The script is flat, the actors are terrible and the story is full of plotholes. Sure, Lucy Liu beats up a lot of people... but her character is so boring and emotionless that she doesn't come off as cool as she should have. I mean, she barely says a word throughout the whole movie. Yes, lines DO matter in an action film. It all plays out like a video game... and I can see why; it was intended to be one. They should'nt have made a movie out of it though. Avoid this one at all costs, unless you're too easily pleased.
I was not impressed or disgusted enough to leave a comment on this film. So
why am I typing now? I saw this was in the bottom 100 here on IMDB. It
wasn't that bad. Actually I enjoyed it, but I was in the mood to not think
and just watch stuff blow up (having a bad day). That's what I got. Lots and
lots of explosions, and fun action, there were more explosions then
There is some plot here, but don't watch this for realism or story. It's a
cartoon, a video game, just mindless action and entertainment, and thats why
its worth seeing and doesn't belong on the bottom 100.
It doesn't come close to being a must see action flick (see the first 2 Lethal Weapons, Die Hard, Escape from New York or dozens of others), but it's not that bad.
|Page 1 of 28:||          |
|External reviews||Parents Guide||Plot keywords|
|Main details||Your user reviews||Your vote history|