Saturday, 26 September 2009

Film Review: BABYLON A.D. (2008)

Director: Mathieu Kassovitz
Running time: 89 mins (approx)
Certificate (UK): 12

Watched on Sky+ Saturday 26th September 2009.


This film is set in the future, the not too distant future if I’m not mistaken. The world looks overcrowded and very violent. Only time will tell if this depiction is accurate, I have a nasty feeling it will be, but that’s only my opinion. Anyhow we’re here to talk about the film. A futuristic action thriller with Vin Diesel can’t be all bad, can it? From some of the reviews I’ve been reading out there in internetland, it can be very bad indeed. Well, I’m here to tell you that in my opinion, it’s not all that bad. Yes, it’s got faults, there are no faultless films, but it is certainly better than some out there would have you believe. Let me tell you a bit about the plot then I’ll continue.

Toorop is a mercenary hired by Gorsky, whose position is not made clear, but he’s certainly influential. Toorop’s mission is to get a girl, Aurora, and her companion, Sister Rebeka, from Russia to New York. Unbeknownst to Toorop, the High Priestess of the Noelite religion is behind the contract and other forces are trying to stop Aurora from reaching her destination. This makes for an exciting journey, especially when we discover that Aurora is very special. I won’t say too much more because I don’t want to give away too many spoilers.

As I said before, this film has its faults, the story can be quite hard to follow, but it’s all there if you look for it. It was technically competent with some nice explosions and even some pretty cool CGI. The cast were all pretty good, I couldn’t fault any of the performances, Vin Diesel was good as Toorop, Michelle Yeoh was great as Sister Rebeka and a fine performance from Mélanie Thierry as Aurora. Good supporting parts from Gérard Depardieu, who I’ll admit I didn’t recognise, as Gorsky and Charlotte Rampling as the High Priestess. At the end of the film I actually cared about the main characters and what happened to them, which tells me the film wasn’t all that bad. I think maybe it suffered a bit from being given a 12A Certificate in the UK (PG-13 in the US); this severely limited the way the story could be told. I would love to see a ‘director’s cut’ to see how it should have been made. Over all, an exciting futuristic action adventure that could have been better, but not as bad as some might have you believe.

My score: 6/10

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