Babylon A.D. (2008) Poster

(2008)

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5/10
A mess
seawalker3 September 2008
I like Vin Diesel. Even if he is not flavour of the month anymore, if he ever was, I make no apologies for that statement. I have a story I would like to share.

In 2002, after the release of "Pitch Black" and "xXx", and even though I was possibly too old to indulge in such childishness, I wrote Vin a fan letter. I expressed my admiration for his work and politely requested an autograph on a magazine, featuring Vin on the cover, that I had enclosed with a stamped addressed envelope. A month later the magazine arrived back and it had been autographed.

I have no idea if the autograph is genuine. It may well have been signed by Vin Diesel, or maybe it was just signed by somebody in Vin Diesel's office. I will never know. Do you know what? I don't care. Somebody went to the effort to send that autograph to me for that I think that Vin is sound, is cool and I give him much respect.

I just wish that Vin appeared in better movies. This brings us to "Babylon A.D.".

Good things. The presentation of the near future world in "Babylon A.D." is beautifully done. Compare and contrast the difference between the collapsing, grunge-like, shabby Eastern Bloc, with the hi-tech, neon lit New York. Very well put together. "Babylon A.D." also has a really intriguing cast (Charlotte Rampling, Mark Strong, Michelle Yeoh, Gérard Depardieu), some good action sequences and an interesting, if derivative, plot.

Bad things. "Babylon A.D." is a mess. There is evidence of extensive tampering with and shortening of the movie in the editing suite. (I read one rumour that 70 minutes had been cut from the movie, although the Director claims that this was more like 15 minutes.) The ending is absolutely awful and apparently not the one that the Director intended.

Director Mathieu Kassovitz has mostly disowned "Babylon A.D.", calling it a movie of 'pure violence and stupidity'. There is nothing wrong with cinematic 'pure violence and stupidity' as such, but I for one would like to have seen Mathieu Kassovitz's original vision. It could have been great.

Such a shame. I have always felt that Vin Diesel could have been the new Stallone, but bad choices have turned him into new Van Damme.

Still, "Babylon A.D." is currently the #2 film at the US Box Office, so what do I know?
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3/10
Interesting Futuristic Details Stitched into a Poor Story
zerogirl427 September 2008
Wow. I didn't have high expectation, but thought I'd at least enjoy Babylon AD. I like just about anything science fiction and most B movies. Babylon AD seriously got the Homer Simpson treatment which I explain later in my review.

The setting is the world in ruins after nuclear war. Vin Diesel comes in as the anti-hero, terrorist hired to deliver a "package" to the US. Enter Michelle Yeoh as the protector and chaperone to the package. She's excellent in her role as a nun in a seemingly peaceful cult spouting lines such as, "just because we are peaceful, doesn't mean we are weak." There are some nifty special effects and enough mystery at the beginning to make me believe the film is going to get 7 stars.

Except for some futuristic technology, that's about it for the good parts of the film.

As for the bad parts, have you ever seen The Simpsons episode with Mel Gibson? The last half hour of Babylon AD is treated like Homer Simpson's version of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. I'm not kidding. It was shockingly bad and truly follows Homer's vision.

I'm still not quite sure what point the movie was trying to make. The story becomes so muddled and the acting is so bad at times that I had no idea what was going on. About 3/4 through the movie, one of the most awkward sexual tension scenes is thrown in for the hell of it. There's no build to it and it makes absolutely no sense, which unfortunately becomes the recurring theme until the end.
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6/10
Find the longer cut!
arctic_loonatic11 June 2009
I fortunately watched Babylon A.D. first from the net and it seems it was (unfortunately) the wiser thing to do because it was the longer cut! Babylon A.D. is not a bad movie even with the 90 minute version but it lacks heavily what the longer cut offers.

I was mostly disappointed (therefore rating 6 which would've been 8++ something otherwise) about the ending of the shorter version which really sucks if you have seen the other one (i did think that here in Europe they would automatically release the 160 min version but no..). Money wasted on that 'cos I was not expecting this kind of cut.

Nevertheless I still enjoyed the plot, the visuals and the very stylized world what this movie brought to the table. The action scenes were also enjoyable. Hopefully Hopefully the better version will be released on DVD! Shame on you studios for not giving this movie the respect it deserves!
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6/10
Not That Bad... Not That Great, But Not Bad
drkallianc130 August 2008
It was decent. The action sequences were definitely a bit choppy, especially the first one. Also, there were a few times when I had to go "Is that even physically possible?" and the ending left a few loose ends still left, so I was sort of disappointed with that.

If you don't pay attention, you will hate this movie. It moves fairly quickly, so once you miss something, it's gone and you will be lost. So pay attention. The story is actually pretty good and actually feels down to earth, which is more than I can say about quite a few sci-fi movies.

For the record, I went into this movie not expecting much more than average, and I was slightly surprised. If you go in expecting the next academy award winner, you will completely despise it. It is no Dark Knight, so don't expect it to be. There's not much there artistically, so, if you don't like a movie simply trying to be entertaining for the sake of being entertaining, then you won't like this one. All in all, it was a good watch, not entirely worth the price for a new movie, so I suggest waiting until it comes to the cheaper theaters (if you have one near by).

As another note (and I'll probably get some heat for this) I actually enjoy Vin Diesel as an actor. This is not his best performance, but it's certainly not his worst (even though I still moderately enjoyed Chronicles of Riddick, I admit it was pretty bad and to this day I still don't know why I like it.) I think Diesel is good at what he does, although he really hasn't been in anything that really blows me away, even my favorite Diesel film (Pitch Black) wasn't completely stunning, but it was really good. With that in mind, this is a Vin Diesel movie, so, if you're not like me and you don't like Diesel, you will not like this movie and should just steer clear of it.
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A tangled, knotted mess that stops caring before you do
bob the moo26 December 2008
Toorop is a "bad-ass" who does things in line with his chosen lifestyle. When he is "approached" by the shadowy but powerful Gorsky to transport a girl from his home in Russia across into New York (where he is wanted on charges) he accepts the job. He collects the angelic Aurora from an ancient monastery along with her guardian, Sister Rebeka and the journey begins. Many are the dangers ahead but soon Toorop realises that the greatest danger may be Aurora herself.

This film got roundly bad reviews and, if you manage to make it through 90 minutes then you will find out for yourself why that was the case – it is not something that the film hides from view. With any sort of "full world" sci-fi, the risk is always that your design of that world will make it look ridiculous and also lack any sort of logic as to why things would be that way. There is an element of that here but the bigger problem is much tighter to the core of the film – the story itself. The vast majority of the film is a journey where the dangers and the stakes are increasing at each step. We don't learn a lot as we go but for me there was enough to keep me going because I wanted to see where it was going. However as it reaches a point where things should start coming together and the "bigger picture" take over the narrative flow from all the running and shouting that it has been for the majority, well, well then it just falls apart.

Except "fall apart" is not the best description for it because really what happens is that it becomes incredibly tangled. Last week I had the pleasure of using two sets of tweezers and a very bright light to untangle a tiny silver necklace belonging to my partner – no part of it stood out as different, it took a lot of work to make sense of the different parts of this massive knotted ball of a chain and it took me ages to translate that knot into a chain again. I mention this because in a way this film is the same by the end because just where you want it to be coming together in a big way, all that happens is it becomes more knotted and more nonsensical. Sadly there is nobody working to make it anything other than this and the closest thing to a "chain" that we end up with is a horrible ending that feels like the makers holding their hands up and saying "Look, I think we all agree that we should probably just bring this whole thing to a close without any fuss and all go our separate ways. Sorry". Some who love this film (and there are some – there are always some) will explain it to you and help you see what you missed; this is never an easy conversation because even those defending the film have to work with their tweezers and such to pull sense out of it. And once they do – once you and I understand the plot and more or less what was going on, we will still be left with one undeniable fact – we still don't care.

Caring is the problem that occurs due to the terrible narrative. At the start I was interested as I was just starting out but, the more it went on, the less I cared. It didn't engage me or give me reasons to keep being interested and by the time the awful ending came round I simply didn't care enough to be angry by how little closure it gives the story. I'm not sure where the fault lies but I suspect it should be evenly spread. The script is poor and the delivery of that script is poor. The cast must have seen something better than I did because there are some solid names in here – certainly it wasn't a matter of "oh, Vin is on board? Sign me up then" because that ship has sailed. Diesel himself is his usual solid screen presence. I'm still not a fan but he can hold the attention and is physically imposing. I won't waste your time considering his performance outside of that but suffice to say that with the material as poor as it is, he had little chance anyway. Yeoh deserves better while Thierry seemingly has no idea what her character is, so she settles for just being irritating for most of the time. Rampling, Depardieu, Strong, Wilson and others all show their faces but nobody knows what they are doing and it all feels like everyone was hoping that the action and sci-fi spectacle would cover this.

Visually I did quite like the film even if some of the scenes are unconvincing "near-future" clichés such as the club which is all scaffolding and violence (but yet rammed) or massive explosions for no real reason. Overall though Babylon A.D. is a mess. It has your bangs and your tough swaggering but it is not big or fun enough to just get by on that. Indeed by its own hand it puts a lot of pressure on the plot to drive the film and then delivery at the end – neither of which it does. It starts simple and gets more and more tangled and then, as a final scene, you are presented this knotted mess and expected to say "thanks". The only saving grace is, by the time that happens, you will probably care so little about the film that it won't matter.
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8/10
Actually, not all that bad
desertsunset-11 September 2008
Considering the problems reported with this production I thought the film wasn't all that bad. Sure, some of the dialogue was hokey, but I'd like to see a director's cut. That way perhaps it might help support the director's claims, or it might suggest otherwise. The location's were great and some of the ideas were interesting. When will studio knobs learn stop meddling. Unless there are really serious and legitimate problems they should stay the hell out of the director's way. The IMDb says the budget for this film was $60 million. Interfering has helped ensure that it's unlikely to break even. Maybe on DVD it might. I'd watch a sequel, provided Vin is in it.
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Sadly average
bladou25 August 2008
I should say first that I don't know the book this movie is adapted from, so I just mean to give an opinion on the movie itself and the way it's handled.

Director Mathieu Kassovitz has been in the business for a while now and is a well complete actor as well and still something about this project went wrong. The story itself seems solid - and somewhat I can imagine the book being just great - but the movie looks rushed with only the most important and visual parts shown.

Actually, it's a kind of annoying experience as you can see how really good it could have been if they only did a better job on the background and the storytelling instead of mixing everything from the book in an action packed movie. Now being totally honest, the action isn't great at all thanks to the shaky hand cam effect (The Bourne Legacy I guess ...) and uninspired choreography. Same goes for the acting : Depardieu and Wilson are easily the worst : they would have read the script for the first time it wouldn't have surprise me.

Considering all the good material it certainly feels like a misproduction, someone said the director and actor Vin Diesel were having different opinions and I do hope the latter won because if Kassovitz did it the way he wanted I'd be really disappointed.

We've been awarded with such great movies around the same kind of subject (Children of Men to name one) that this one seems pale compared to those.
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8/10
Enjoyable
happyvibes7 September 2008
I enjoyed the movie. The locations were visually interesting. I liked the camera work. There was a lot of action, but everything happened so fast it was hard to follow the action scenes. Vin Diesel is interesting and entertaining to watch, and if you enjoy his movies, then you will like this one.

I am going to have to read the book to understand what the plot really was about. The explanation of the plot seems to have been sacrificed for more action. I like reading sci-fi, so this gives me something to look up when I go to the bookstore. When I read the book, I will think of the movie and it will be fun.

If you like exotic locations and nice camera work, fast action scenes and don't mind some foul language, its a fun movie.
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4/10
Incredibly Disappointing Movie
spiderman11200430 August 2008
Wow, i don't even know where to start. I'd first like to say that,im usually generous and optimistic when i see movies, and usually films my friends say suck, i say they are okay, or when my friends say they are okay, i say it was great...This one failed in 2 very important aspects of storytelling. One, they were confused as to what the climax really was and two, there's no resolution or their pathetic excuse for one was terrible. I don't know whether they are setting up for a sequel or what but the ending was laughable(literally people laughed at the ending). Its all disappointing because the movie looked liked it had potential. the acting was average, but i didn't expect much from vin diesel and Michelle Yeoh did a decent job, other then that wait to this hits USA or TBS, don't even rent it from blockbuster, its not worth it.
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5/10
Babylon A.D.D.
borchardt_michael2 September 2008
Wtf.

Do you like headaches? Do you wake up everyday saying "Today sure is a great day to see a movie that could have been great, but I'd rather be confused!" Well then go see this movie! I don't really know what else to say, you can't really rate a movie as good, or bad, unless there is a movie to rate. It was so jumbled around with drastic scene changes, a plot that you don't even understand at the end of the movie, and uhhh, be prepared to be in an altered state of mind when you go to see it, maybe then you'll think you get it. Otherwise you're gonna hate this movie.
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8/10
"Babylon A.D." means...
jon.h.ochiai31 August 2008
Vin Diesel's star vehicle "Babylon A.D." was not screened for critics prior to release. This is usually the syndrome of cinematic demise. Surprisingly, "Babylon A.D." is a competent action movie with a compelling enough futuristic messiah story by Director Mathieu Kassovitz, Eric Besnard, and Joseph Simas. This is not a stretch for Vin Diesel, who is charismatic enough to carry the movie. However, the one thing that still escapes me is the title: "Babylon A.D". After having seen the movie, I remain without a clue. Perhaps, I have to wait for the extras in the DVD release, or not. Obviously, "Babylon A.D." slid under the promotional radar. Also despite decent production value, producers apparently filmed the movie in the Czech Republic, Sweden, and France to reduce costs. Although a fan of Vin, I really was curious about "Babylon A.D.", because of Michelle Yeoh. I am a big fan of Yeoh ("Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", "The Mummy 3"). Yeoh is beautiful and always plays strong, smart, and understated. She is a distinct strength as Sister Rebeka.

Despite itself "Babylon A.D.", ultimately works as a hero tale with the presence of Vin Diesel. In an almost incongruously touching moment in the icy tundra Melanie Thierry's Aurora asks Diesel's Toorop, "You're risking your life for me. Why?" Toroop confides "I'm tired…" He has done his share of atrocity in his life, and this may be his last grasp at redemption. He must choose whether he has "A choice to make a difference or to walk away and save yourself…" Director Kassovitz's screenplay is based on the novel by Maurice G. Dantec. Given the briefness of "Babylon A.D." which has a 90 minute running time, one wonders what was jettisoned. I suspect the original story was not exactly tailored as an action movie—the narrative is nearly minimalist.

Our hero Diesel plays soldier turned mercenary Toorop, who lives in the not too distant existential future. Toorop agrees to deliver a young girl from a remote convent in Mongolia to New York City. It is unclear what value or threat she poses. The High Priestess (scary Charlotte Rampling) of the religious Neolites is intent on possessing the girl for her own means. Toorop arrives at the convent to escort Aurora (stunning beauty Thierry). Her protector Sister Rebeka (Yeoh) reminds Toorop that he must abide by 3 rules, including no foul language. Toorop tells Rebeka, "Don't f--- with me." The innocent Aurora asks "Are you a killer, Mr. Toorop?" He replies "Yes." Aurora is strangely aware of the future. Her keeper Rebeka reminds Toorop that she is "peaceful, not weak". Rebeka is a deadly martial artist. Also seeking to obtain Aurora is her mysterious father (Joel Kirby). Aurora holds the key to the future of the world.

What ensues is measured violence and betrayal all cloaked in this global conspiracy. Kassovitz orchestrates the brutal cage fighting club mayhem. And the cathartic automatic weapons showdown in New York is striking and dramatic. Diesel brings his action A-game. Michelle Yeoh is powerful and graceful in her martial arts display. Young Thierry is effective in revealing a deceptively powerful presence.

In the end "Babylon A.D." gives us the deserved payoff. The movie works really on a visceral level, not necessarily entrenched in logic. There are some gaping narrative fissures. Then again—big deal. The movie is entertaining. Vin Diesel and Michelle Yeoh are strong. Take a chance on "Babylon A.D." Then tell me what the title means.
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4/10
Vin Diesel's comedy of errors that went to infinity and beyond.
dvc515931 August 2008
This is another sad case of promising beginning, meeting with a horrible conclusion.

Well, watching this with your friends will most probably end you up in a MST3K screening. I experienced that. Yes, this movie is bad, and what's worse, I went in with low expectations. I wanted to like this movie, really I did. Sadly, it went the other way. Indiana Jones may breathe easy, as this unintentional laugh fest makes Vin Diesel's career floundering.

The acting is mostly weak. Vin Diesel is Vin Diesel, no different than that of his previous films (if you can excuse "The Pacifier" and "Find Me Guilty"). He still tries his best to act, but to no avail as the film keeps sinking to new depths. Michelle Yeoh's case is similar to that of Diesel: both are action stars who seem lost in this cinematic wreck. Their eyes bear a dawning moment of realization that they are in this movie. A bad one at that. Melanie Therry is nothing more that eye candy, as her central plot device is wasted by the film's end. That having said, she does pull a convincing performance, but that's all. Gerard Depardieu is embarrassing to watch as a crime lord, why the hell would he mark a long absence to mainstream cinema with this crap? But the real hammy is Charlotte Rampling. My. God. She really hams it up with that queen motherb*tch of hers. Really, what was she thinking? The direction, if there is any, is empty. Obviously there was a feud between director Mathieu Kassovitz and Twentieth Century Fox, if so you know. There are scenes in which you can tell the direction has no heart and the characters are just boring and flat. And the action sequences, some are laughable (American secret agents with monkey king abilities), some are impressive, some are flat, some are ripped-off, and it morphs into one big mess. Although the cinematography and directing is good, the editing and overall synopsis of the film are disgraceful. No wonder Kassovitz disowned the film.

The story seems like it was ripped off from the masterful Children of Men, and they mashed it up with another forgotten cheap action film, Cyborg, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. The screenplay is even worse, with laughable dialog in parts. The costume design must also be criticized. Really, biker thugs who look like The Green Goblin Quadbike Fan Club. Or, said American secret agent wearing the power logo you can find on your PC. What the ****? And if it's set in a post or pre- apocalyptic world, than I would not mind, as the living conditions are favorable (this wasn't shown until near the end of the film). What's up with that? Product placement is funny as hell. New York City becomes Corporate World, where every skyscraper and sidewalk (and in one occasion airliner) has a giant advertisement/commercial. Yes, it's true. Only the special effects are good, they are impressive, for a US$ 60 million dollar film. But they're wasted here.

Honestly, I thought this was worse than "Star Wars: The Clone Wars". Vin better step up with that Fast and Furious movie on the works, which could very well be his key to reviving his career. As for this film, if it had a director's cut I would give it a chance, but unless you want a MST3K experience with buddies, avoid this like the plague.

Overall quality: 2/10
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9/10
Vin at his best
brianross0319 September 2008
Even though the plot was original, you have to give it that. I thought it was entertaining. Vin was acting at his peak. He did the role of Toorop much justice in a Vin sort of way.

There are many reviews that I have read over the web and frankly I'm surprised. Call me going against the grain but I was impressed. I think the problem is that people go into movies with preconceived ideas as to what is "supposed to happen" according to how their mind sees the trailers and previews. Just sit back and enjoy, don't look for flaws, don't expect something that isn't there.

TV Guide did have this to say: 'For all its generic qualities, Babylon A.D. is well acted, briskly paced and consistently clear: Like Neil Marshall's Doomsday, it's bare-bones genre entertainment, no better or worse than it ought to be.' I rest my case.
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5/10
Le sigh...
The_Amazing_Spy_Rises29 August 2008
I'm not much of a Vin Diesel fan, I'll be the first to admit. I will admit, that I enjoyed the first Fast/Furious movie and The Pacifier, as well as Triple X. He's exactly what you ask for in an action hero...but here, in this jumbled mess of a futuristic thriller, Diesel sinks his own vehicle with bland, unlikable, and just flat out detached performance.

First off, Babylon begs three questions: 1) what did director Mathieu Kassovitz do to make the studio so mad, 2) what is Gerard Depardeau doing in this movie, and 3) what happened to Vin Diesel's career? I'll answer all of those. Except number 2. I have no idea what he was thinking.

Director Kassovitz is certainly talented - there's no denying that. There are some moments where the film shines with beautiful shots, decent visuals, and some daring moves from the director of Gothika, but in the end, the editing process is so obviously influenced by the studio wanting to tone down the movie and keep it 'simple' that it really hurt the movie in the end, and it's very easy to see why the director is mad. If the movie has a director's cut, I'll give it another shot on DVD.

Vin, Vin, Vin...what happened, buddy? Five years ago you were the KING of action, and now...ugh. Diesel needs the next Fast and Furious movie to be awesome...for his credibility's sake. Scratch that. He just needs it, okay? I really felt no attachment to his character in this, even though you're supposed to go on this transcontinental adventure with him and feel what he feels, that's totally impossible because Diesel allows no room to feel what he's thinking. Michelle Yeoh, always the bright spot of movies, is a healthy addition to the film, while Melanie Thierry is absolutely gorgeous (so no complaints here). Again, I have no idea what some people were thinking. *slaps Gerard Depardeau and Charlotte Rampling*

The film is more of an apocalyptic thriller than an action thriller, and delves in to the realm of science fiction more than a few times. I especially liked Kassovitz's vision of a futuristic New York. Though not as scary as Francis Lawrence's vision in 'I Am Legend', it was still pretty dark, brooding, and intense. What action is in the movie is exciting. Though the snowmobile chase sort of came out of nowhere, it was still well done. It seems as if Vin has to have something like that in all of his films.

All in all, Babylon A.D. serves as a great example as to why studios are losing their minds *glares at the people who made Disaster Movie*, and should just let the directors and actors do their jobs correctly. There's a longer cut of this movie, I'm sure of it, and that cut will have better action, more development, and more explanation for the seemingly mind boggling events in the film. If said longer cut comes out, I'll give it a chance, and you should too. My real meaning? Wait for the DVD if you're interested at least a little.
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8/10
Pretty good for a Vin Diesel movie.
FinHalen30 August 2008
Im surprised at all the negative comments on this movie its really not that bad. It's got good acting, a good story, and some good action scenes, though they would have been better if they didn't shake the camera around like they did in The Bourne Identity.

This movie follows mercenary Toorop(Vin Diesel) who is hired by some ugly as sin fat Russian dude to take Aurora(Melaine Thierry) to America, Sister Rebeka(Michelle Yeoh) tags along. They Go from Russia all they way to New York and along the way action ensues and we are given glimpses at why Aurora is so special.

Thing I liked most about this movie was the director's vision of the world a few decades from now. Russia is like it is today, An overcrowded crap hole that is a haven for gun runners and criminals except even crappier. The western world however enjoys Peace due to customs checking the genetic makeup of all immigrants to weed out the unwanted. New York is like it is today just with a lot more ads, even in the shower.

Overall this was a pretty good movie and is definitely worth seeing. Oh and if you've been reading other reviews saying that the ending is horrible, don't worry it's decent at worst and it has a much better ending than most of the movies Hollywood craps out nowadays.
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1/10
Complete Waste of Money
dragonwalker1 March 2009
I am sorry, if I have offended anybody who actually liked this picture, but I just cant find any positive thing about it. Vin is as usual... This guy does not care that much about acting. But since the role seems to be written for him it is no big deal.

That is what I can call a success of this movie. And thats it. I will just jump trough things like America is eden while Russia hell cause thats just old and it might tickle a couple million Russians.

The plot is not simple. It is childish. The final "suprise" is so constructed out of nothing that it is sad. Whole movie is pretty predictable and messy at the same time.

So if you are looking for some fine sci-fi action, this movie is not what you are looking for. There's nothing thrilling, no tension and the sci-fi part is just a bad mix of something we all know too well.
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1/10
Ace director + studio interference = implosion
eddax27 May 2009
It's hard to judge Babylon A.D. when I know that director Mathieu Kassovitz has publicly disowned the movie, claiming that Twentieth Century Fox interfered with just about everything. It's quite easy to see why they interfered. In watching the movie, I could tell that Kassovitz had plans to make it an epic sci-fi film, though perhaps too much of it felt lifted from other such epics (e.g. Children of Men, Brazil, Pitch Black, and even The Fifth Element). But come the action sequences, and it's quite apparent that Fox wanted another Vin Diesel shoot-'em-up to peddle to the college boys. The result is an unholy mess with a incoherent story and uninspired action sequences, and I don't know if it's because Kassovitz wasn't up to the task, or whether his work was mutilated by the studio, or both.

This movie also features one of my pet peeves: If you're gonna cast Michelle Yeoh in a butt-kicking role, then for the love of gawd, let her do some impressive butt-kicking!
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5/10
What's the point ? KASSOVITZ FIND A GOOD SCRIPT NEXT TIME
DavBiwan23 August 2008
I've just seen Babylon AD in Paris and i must say this is a terrible and disappointing movie and only because of the screenplay. I must say french director Mathieu Kassovitz has done a very decent job by directing the movie. The actors are good, the production design is good and even the special effects are quite stunning. But how did you miss the most important key element in a movie: The screenplay! The reaction that i had at the end of the film was: What ? That's it ? What's the point ? Where is the deep reflexion that you must find in a good Sci FI movie ?

Please give to Kassovitz a very good script because i know he can do a great film. And he is one the few french director who can direct a movie as the American does when they achieve greatness. I know he can do better. He must !
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7/10
I haven't seen the shorter 20th Century Vole version
ridley-the-sea-turtle21 August 2020
Evidently there are two versions of this movie, one which was badly cut and had something approaching a happy ending, and another, longer, which ends in the same dystopian frame of mind as the beginning. I've only seen the longer cut which is perhaps why I liked it.

There was one scene where vin diesel cooks himself some rabbit. Naturally, I tried cooking like he did in the film (throw the bunny pieces into the pan, chopped onions, a bit of wine). What I learned was that unless you get the bunny filet, there are too many bones. Bunny hard to cook.

Never understood why Toorop had the word slon (in cyrillic, means elephant) tattooed to his fingers not unlike Jake and Elliot Blues.

The "Vladivostok" scene (been there, that's not Vladivostok) reminds me of home, how everywhere you go now there is a sort of post-Soviet bazaar. For me, the film becomes less interesting once our hapless heroes reach North America.
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5/10
Cool premise-bad execution
tylawhenny5 March 2019
This needed a budget of $50 more million dollars to be pulled off. Everything in this looos so cheap and comes across as CGI filled. I don't know, it wasn't a horrible watch, but it's just terribly average
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3/10
6.1 on opening day??????
pahaake29 August 2008
People please, this was one of - if not the worst movie I have seen in a theater all year. Let's start with the plot, wait was there one? If there was I missed it, something about a girl and some magical babies or something.

Was there a director? I don't know - but if there was he or she is a talentless hack that should go back to film school. I guess this was supposed to be an action movie, but the action sequences were pathetic. They were either poorly shot or poorly edited, or maybe both. The fight scenes were so badly choreographed (sp?) that it was impossible to tell who was fighting who.

Was there script? I guess because the terrible and pointless dialog came from somewhere, and I mean this was bad. Vin Diesel is not the greatest actor on the planet, but he certainly entertains (usually) and he deserved a better movie then this.

When I look at my watch 380 times during a 90 minute movie - that's not a good sign. Really, save your money and go see something that doesn't stink, if I see something worth seeing I'll let you know.
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7/10
Need nuke, will travel
richard_sleboe16 September 2008
Most reviewers hated "Babylon A.D.". I think people expect too much from this kind of movie. Vin Diesel is a cool cat if I ever saw one, and as a true actors' director, Matthieu Kassovitz knows how to work him. Diesel's character Toorop has few illusions (and no first name) left when oligarch Gorsky (Gérard Depardieu, hilarious) calls on him to save the world one girl at a time, and perhaps free himself in the process. Bond girl Michelle Yeoh, although under-leveraged, is a smart choice as a naughty nun equally well-versed in divine revelations and martial arts. The setting moves from the wild east to the free west and packs more "wow" moments than most Emmerich or Petersen productions, at perhaps one tenth the budget. The Coke Zero product placement is pretty thick, but if that's what it takes to get this kind of movie made, that's fine with me. The picture is based on a comic book and has the potential for a great-looking computer game (and a sequel or two). Favorite scene: Toorop feasting on home-cooked game and fine wine in his Serbian lair. If only they'd let the man eat his dinner in peace.
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10/10
A solid review
desispitz9 January 2009
ALRIGHT all of ya who know me well know I'm a HUGE Vin diesel fan. So here's a Lil review on the movie that I saw today (and LOVED)

Boring, not intelligent. now i've heard tons of hate from people that have seen this film in theaters. Well today I actually got a chance to sit down and watch the unrated version (which is out on DVD and blurry currently) and was really astonished!

but before i get into that let me tell u why people who saw it in theaters hated it: 1. tough to understand 2. too much fast action, no story 3. confusing ending

on the extended cut EACH ONE of these issues is looked at... and FIXED. during the production of the movie, the director of the film and Fox studios had a fight over the idea of the story (Which i cant reveal just yet) as a resolution, fox bought the script off the directors hands and just changed it and released a ninety minute version of monkey juice in theaters. Weak. and people were feeling the pain.

THen comes the DIRECTORS UNRATED RAW AND UNCUT version of the film which has about fifteen more minutes and a WHOLE bunch of edits in it. I never saw the ninety minute version, only the 115 minutes version, which blew my socks off.

Lets talk about the film now... Vin starts off as a angry guy living alone in a broken down apartment in Siberia. He's a mercenary for hire and you could probably figure out the subplot here. But then he's assigned a task to protect two lovely women (michelle ye-oh who can kick serious tail, and this other Russian hot-tie) and boy its a ROLLER COASTER the rest of the way.

BUT

its a thinking movie. This is one of those movies that after watching it you have to THINK about it and it all makes sense. I could break it down piece by piece here... but that'd ruin the idea. The film is FORCING you to think to understand by the time u reach the end. IF You're still confused call me, or message me on this, Ill explain it to you. I do admit that the ending (last five minutes of the film after a GRAND action sequence, probably the best I've seen so far in a while since batman) begins to slip, and changes courses from intense edge of your seat to slow down and think.

This movie is like the matrix, children of men, and all those science fiction classics rolled into one explosive masterpiece. IF you're looking for mindless action then you're better off not watching this movie. BUT if you're intelligent, and like solving puzzles and figuring it out, this movie is FOR YOU. I can TOTALLY understand it when I listen to a few dialogs in certain areas of the film twice, and it really makes sense to me if i tie the whole film together, not separating the ending from the rest of it (which is a HUGE mistake people are making)

This is an INTELLIGENT film, and I'd give it an A- most definitely.
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7/10
Vin Diesel knows how to make a film enjoyable.
DarkVulcan2910 September 2008
Even if the films are not totally big hits, he pretty much makes them somewhat enjoyable, The Fast and the Furious(2001), and The Chronicles Of Riddick(2004). And Vin Diesel does the same here, in this futuristic drama. He plays a mercenary for hire, who has been hired escort a woman, he just does the job and doesn't ask why, he thinks this will be a simply job, only if he keeps a low profile. But then another group wants the girl also. But what is special about this girl, and how deep will he get in? An enjoyable flick, although the story is confusing at times, but still good. But it's not all just a totally sci-fi action flick, it focuses on the people around um. Vin Diesel delivers a descent performance. Michelle Yeoh is also great.
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1/10
In two words, trash and garbage.
RalphDJones30 August 2008
If you like movies with a little bit of action, a story line that moves along in random jumps and rapid stops, along with poor lighting and lousy cinematography, then this is the film for you. If you prefer films rated above a grade D, go elsewhere. Oh wait, did I mention special effects? No, I guess I didn't. Probably because there weren't any that were worthwhile. The introduction of characters into the (and I really hate to use this word because there wasn't one) storyline actually occurred sometimes, but usually not. For about half of the movie, basically all of the "action" scenes, you could watch a series a random pictures get flashed on a screen for about a quarter of a second each and have gotten the same effect. I'd rather have watched a white strobe light during those scenes. It would have made the movie much more palatable.
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