Friday, September 26, 2008

Babylon A.D.



The new Vin Diesel sci-fi action movie Babylon A.D. is bad beyond words. Beyond reason. Beyond hope. Beyond dreams. Beyond reckoning. Its retina-searing, soul-crushing, potentially universe-ending ineptitude blots out all happy memories of your life before watching it and reduces you a shattered, broken shell, weeping and pleading with a cold, unforgiving deity that may you never again witness such an abomination wrought unto cinema. Its bizarrely high 06% on Rotten Tomatoes is generous beyond all that the Christ could ever have capacity to offer.

This film should probably be officially classified by the government as a war crime. Some country, somewhere, must be nuked for this movie. We must find who was responsible and bring them to justice.

I would not show my worst enemy Babylon A.D. If a cruel torturer put me in a room with a table on which was the DVD of Babylon A.D. and a pistol and said "Choose," I would unhesitatingly grab the pistol and blow my brains all over the wall. I would rather be curbstomped American History X style than watch Babylon A.D. again. I would rather have my dick split down the middle with a straight razor. I would rather give Hitler a rimjob than watch Babylon A.D. again. It proudly and indisputably stands tall with the ranks of Dreamcatcher, Van Helsing, and FeardotCom in the hallowed halls of awfulness, a horrible ghetto into which sane men dare not tread.

I knew going in that it was a sci-fi movie about an escort mission in a semi-post-apocalyptic future and from the reviews (which weren't good of course, but I have in the past enjoyed action movies starring bald badasses that critics hated) and plot synopses I basically assumed it was the dumb, action version of Children of Men. Well, I was wrong. It's more like the fetal alcohol syndrome version of Children of Men. Let me break it down for you:

Basically, some mysterious chick with no personality (and telekinesis, we later learn) needs to be transported to America. This sci-fi gangster contacts Vin Diesel to do it, and Michelle Yeoh goes with them. Vin Diesel is apathetic and basass at first but gradually comes to care. Then there's like forty-five minutes of mind-numbing explosions and gunfire and fights so jumbled and so generic and so constant and so boring that I started to doze off. Michelle Yeoh dies.

We see that the gangster who hired Vin Diesel was, holy shit, being manipulated by some evil High Priestess! She needs the chick Diesel is escorting for world domination and just needed Diesel to get her into America so she could snatch her, you see. High Priestess kills the gangster. Diesel and the chick meet up with some resistance fighters who fill them in on the story. Diesel and the chick leave; shortly thereafter, the High Priestess invades the resistance fighter camp and kills the leader. Some of her henchman chase Diesel and the chick in SUVs in a boring, generic 2-minute car chase and get blown up. Diesel and the chick stop in a house. The other allies are dead, they can't run much more, the villain is onto them - board is clearly set for the final pursuit between the High Priestess and Diesel! Then we tilt up to the sky, fade to black, and roll credits.

WHAT THE FUCK. Worst ending ever? Yes, but not only is it that, it's the single most poorly-structured movie I've ever witnessed, with predictable characters arcs, frontloaded with brain-numbing action, loaded in the ass with clunky exposition, with no resolution, no climax, nothing. Nothing is fucking resolved! Nothing worth noting happens! There are no memorable characters, events, or set pieces. It's ugly and drably shot. It's loud. It's bad. God it's bad. I hate this movie. I hate this fucking movie so much; next time when a director publicly denounces their work and calls it a piece of shit, I'll believe them. Because Babylon A.D. is a fucking piece of SHIT.

Honestly, I like Vin Diesel. He's no great thespian but he seems like he means well, has always come across as a really nice guy and I've never heard otherwise, and is a prominent, proud, and unrepentant fan of video games, Dungeons & Dragons, and all forms of nerdiness. The man just wants to make cool sci-fi action movies for people, and I can respect that. But Babylon A.D. is not that. This is not even the basest, dumbest, most guilty entertainment, because there is no "entertainment" here, just psychological torture. I certainly had my problems with The Chronicles of Riddick, but if it's between Vin Diesel doing more Riddick movies or more movies like this, for the love of god give us Riddick II, Riddick III, Riddick IV, Riddick V, and ad nauseam to the end of time, because movies like Babylon A.D. must not happen. Humanity can't survive it.


1 Star out of 5

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