Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Vin Dieselís first new movie since like forever is unique. You see Iíve seen movies where certain things and certain elements didnít make a whole lot of sense but I believe this is the first movie Iíve ever seen where the entire freaking thing didnít make any sense. But then again as Iíve said on numerous occasions Iím not the brightest bulb in the box so ĎBabylon A.D.í might ring with absolute clarity to a lot of you out there, but for me, and everybody in the theater that I was with, confusion and befuddlement were certainly the order of the day. There are SPOILERS in this review so click that BACK button if you donít want to be spoiled.

The year isÖ hellÖ I donít know what year this is supposed to be because nobody involved in making this film thought it was important to let the audience know. What we do know is that in this future the world is pretty much frakked. In this rainy, gloomy and desperate world where people sell automatic machine guns on the street like sno-cones we meet Toorop, played by Mr. Diesel, who stretches his acting chops in this film by portraying a super tough, monotone, mono syllabic near indestructible badass. After a big explosion at his apartment, Toorop is taken to meet an incredibly ugly dude named Gorsky, played by French actor Gerard Depardieu, leaving us to wonder how much makeup, if any, they had to put on my man to make him look like that. Regardless Gorsky makes Toorop an offer he canít refuse where Toorop will use his badass smuggling skills and slip some girl into the United States for a bunch of money and a passport. Toorop as it turns out is on the U.S. terrorist watch list and isnít allowed in the country.

So Toorop travels to a monastery and picks up Aurora (Melanie Thierry) and her guardian nun Sister Rebeka (Michelle Yeoh) and off they go. Their journey is rife with peril and danger as two competing elements, led a man called Darqandier (Lambert Wilson) who claims to Auroraís father, is attempting to intercept the girl while the

other faction led by the High Priestess (Charlotte Rampling) of this bizarre religious sect is dead set on keeping our trio on course, with both parties tracking their every move. The situation is exacerbated by Auroraís rather strange and schizophrenic behavior as the girl has a vast knowledge of just about everything, in addition to an incredible ability for empathy, but she also possesses the mentality of a child, not that her retarded social development seemed to stop Toorop from trying to get on some of that as he apparently digs fully developed young women with full lips and the personality of an eight year old. And he would have closed that deal if it wasnít for that bothersome Kung Fu kicking nun. Anyway, eventually our trio makes it New York where there are explosions, shootouts, more Kung Fu kicking, death, reanimation, and though the movie is damn near over, we still donít know why Aurora is so significant, but donít you worry because Iím going to tell you.

Before we get into why this movie was lame, there are some good things going on as director Mathieu Kassovitz has a very detailed and visual eye for film and creates a very effective and organic atmosphere for ĎBabylon A.Dí. Another thing this film has going for it is that Melanie Thierry has a fantastic set of full, ripe and supple red lips that even George Michael might want to kiss. What ĎBabylon A.D.í lacks in anything resembling a coherent and structured narrative. Not that I need everything in a film laid out nice and neat on a wrinkle free blanket, but I do require some basic knowledge of what in the hell is going on a movie Iíve donated my precious time to watch. It would have been nice to know how this world that the audience has been thrust into became the way it has become. Like what year is it? Is the world in chaos because of a nuclear event? A catastrophic world war? A global revolt against reality TV shows? Anything? Even the incredibly infantile ĎDeath Raceí took 60 seconds at the beginning of the movie to explain to the audience why things are the way that they are, and really thatís all Iím asking for, sixty lousy seconds. It is incredibly difficult to get immersed into something if you donít know what exactly youíre immersed in. And itís not like the characters are going to help since they are all completely two-dimensional. Vin Diesel simply dusted off Riddick and took off his sunglasses and contacts, Melanie Thierry was hot but vapid, and Michelle Yeoh was simply an extension of Dieselís character with a larger vocabulary and nicer, albeit smaller breasts.

Then by the time we eventually figure out what all the fuss is about, that Aurora is a few months into a Virgin Birth, with twins no less, it becomes more confusing mainly because Aurora was essentially man made in a test tube, which also makes her invincible. This leads us to theorize that man now has the ability to genetically recreate baby Jesusí or something. I guess. Unless of course God thought it might be cool to send a pair of messiahs into a genetically created artificial woman and then have these twin babies raised by Riddick. Either God wouldnít do that or heís one funny Dude. Were this a DVD I would have loved to have heard the ĎDirectorís Commentaryí on this one.

We sat around in silence after the movie was over attempting to process what we had just seen and nobody really had anything to offer, least of all me, but Iím the one has to write something so here it is. If you can ignore the story, whatever it may have been, and just enjoy the pretty pictures, that sweet snow mobile chase scene, Melanie Thierryís luscious lips and Vin Dieselís dulcet mono syllabic grunts, then this is a movie that you may enjoy. Otherwise might I suggest an episode of Veggie Tales if you desire a little more intellectual stimulus.

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