Babylon A.D.
Our Rating
1½ Stars - Weak
Average Rating
 
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Mpaa Rating
PG-13 (for intense sequences of violence and action, language and some sexuality)
Genre
Directed By
Mathieu Kassovitz
Run Time
1 hour 30 minutes
Cast
Vin Diesel, Michelle Yeoh, Mélanie Thierry, Lambert Wilson
Theatre Release
August 29, 2008 by 20th Century Fox

Never mind the fact that it's been universally panned. Here's how bad Babylon A.D. really is: In the days leading up to its release, the film's director, French auteur Mathieu Kassovitz, publicly denounced his own movie, citing disagreements with the studio and a troubled production and summing up the film as "a bad episode of 24." But he wasn't the only one upset about the movie; the film's star, Vin Disel, also made public declarations about the project's awfulness, but, very much to his credit, he did so not with a spirit of bitterness or frustration, but in a cheerfully joking, self-deprecating sort of way.

Diesel's humorous response to the way the movie turned out offered a ray of hope that, at the very least, Babylon A. D. would be so ridiculous, so glaringly and garishly bad, it might actually be sort of fun, in a perverse and unintentional sort of way. Alas, the movie is anything but. Oppressively dark and ponderous, Babylon treads the same apocalyptic mélange as Children of Men, but with none of the sophistication or nuance that made that film provocative and memorable. This movie, by comparison, is simply a muddled, meaningless mess of images and ideas that never add up to anything more than failed attempts at philosophizing and unbearably pained stabs at storytelling.

It would be close to impossible to offer any sort of plot summary, as it's close to impossible to discern any kind of plot; on a very broad level, the movie is about a hired gun (Diesel) who is hired to transport a young, troubled girl, Aurora (Melanie Thierry) across the near-future, sci-fi landscape of Russia and into the United States, with Aurora's guardian (Michelle Yeoh) tagging along. But in truth, you could completely rearrange all the ...

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