Wow, this was bad. I’m sadly getting to the point where I’m beginning to use the phrase “Vin Diesel bad“. That’s bad. And what’s worse is that it’s going to get worse. During the trailers prior to the movie (which I firmly believe can be a good indicator of how good or bad the feature film will be) The Man and I learned that there’s going to be yet another Fast And Furious movie.
I’m really saddened by this. Vin was great when he started out. He was set to become the new bigger-than-life-but-really-f-ing-talented-guy in Hollywood. His breakout film was a short called Strays which he wrote, produced, and directed on a shoe-string budget. That got him noticed by the likes of Mr. Spielberg (see Saving Private Ryan – Vin played Pvt. Adrian Caparzo), Brad Bird (see The Iron Giant – Vin was The Iron Giant), and Ben Younger (who to this day has had only one great film to his credit: Boiler Room starring Vin Diesel and Giovanni Ribisi).
Then he got a taste of the Action Hero life in Pitch Black and it was all over but the crying.
I am, for the record, NOT knocking Pitch Black. It’s my favorite cheezy horror movie, and I mean that in a nice way. I simply see that as the turning point in his career where he stopped thinking and started doing. That’s unfortunate.
If you’re reading this, Vin, please take my advice and find yourself a good script. And if you can’t find one out there, for God sake’s man, make one of your own. You’ve proven before that you can write. Do it again. Or at least collaborate. Get yourself out of the rut before you’re too far in to dig back out again.
~ end rant ~
Spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned.
So this movie, Babylon A.D., it’s pretty awful. I know this because the highlight of the movie (for me) was seeing the logo for my favorite drink plastered all over the side of a passenger jet.
Well, that and the shot of Vin in the shower. But I digress…
Every character in this movie is two-dimensional, with the possible exception of Sister Rebeka played with exceptional grace (and actual acting talent) by martial arts star Michelle Yeoh. She doesn’t belong in this movie. She’s far too talented.
The story itself lurches along like an injured troll in heat.
First we meet Toorop (Vin Diesel) and discover that he’s got a gourmet touch and a taste for hasenpfeffer. Then he is strong-armed by the Russian Mafia kingpin Gorsky (Gérard Depardieu – yes, you read that right) to escort the obviously French Aurora (Mélanie Thierry) from a women’s monastery (?) to New York City via the Bering Strait in a vehicle that reminded me fondly of the 1977 Grand Prix that The Man used to take me out on dates with, only, you know, Mad Max-ified.
Natch, they have to go through all sorts of hell (and super-advanced military ‘anti-immigration’ booby traps) to get there, only to find that the bad guys – or in this case, the bad girls – are the ones she’s being delivered to and they want her for obviously nefarious reasons. Cut to Aurora’s dad (Lambert Wilson – who should have stuck to serving desserts a la Matrix II ) who should be years dead but through some sort of life-saving self-surgical pseudo-scientific miracle has managed to keep his body alive via machine just to help his baby girl when she grows up (a girl who started out as a scientific experiment and became his “daughter” only because he conveniently grew a conscience) and he give his life for her safety. Yawn.
She finally gives birth (she’s carrying twin “Messiah” children) and dies, and Vin lives the rest of his life in a cozy comfy upstate retreat wearing nice white clothes and raising the babies with absolutely no threat from the outside world. Right.
Start writing that script, Vin!
KATIE RATING: 2 OF 10
ROTTEN TOMATOES RATING: 05% Rotten! (Wow! That’s pretty rotten!)