Monday, 1 September 2008

Babylon AD Review

There once was a time when Vin Diesel was the hotshit. Before the 100 Facts about Chuck Norris brought about a Chuck renaissance, Van fans had already given him the 'action star as god' treatment. Lines such as "If you rearrange the letters in Vin Diesel it reveals his credo: "I End Lives." and "When Vin Diesel was born, the nurse said, "Holy crap! That's Vin Diesel!" Then she had had sex with him. At that point, she was the third girl he had slept with", had me rolling around long before Chuck's uppercuts became the internet gag that won't go away. Since then though Vins star has faded, quickly and strongly.

To try and turn this around Vin suckles at the teet of the Sci-Fi genre that made his name. In the not too distant future he plays a mercenary paid to 'transport' a mysterious child from Russia to New York. Many questions about who and what the girl is are raised, Vin has a couple of fights and people get crossed, double crossed and re-crossed until I get cross that the director has pandered to the studio so much so that the film lies a mess.

Funnily enough there is potential in this film. Its all shot in a Children of Men way, gritty and thoughtful, but its marketed and put together like a dumb, action film. The aformentioned scenes of Vin fighting are crowbarred in in such a way that they feel like deleted scenes from XXX. The rest of the film has some neat ideas and the morally dubious characters make for occasional moments of unpredictability.

It all descends into confusion with some gumph about a virgin birth, a child born from a computer, neolites and religious fanatics. But none of this is given the screentime it needs to really evolve. While I was glad of the 90 minute running time the whole thing comes across as incredibly rushed and its a shame because this could have been something other than the averagely dull tosh it ended up as.

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