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Babylon A.D. (2008) - "Vin Diesel in Yet Another Dumb, But Fun, Action/Sci-Fi Movie"
Babylon A.D. follows Toorop (played by Vin Diesel), a mercenary for hire who is taken aboard a mission to smuggle a young girl and her guardian from an Asian covenant to New York. This journey is perilous, filled with danger at almost every turn, and the danger may be closer to hand than our lead protagonist, Toorop, may ever know.
There is a trio of sorts who must journey to the promised land; Toorop, the young girl, Aurora, and Sister Rebeka, the young girls guardian. The journey isn't all that exciting, as it feels as though every scene is just luck carrying them forward, and the action that comes with it seems to be what keeps the movie interesting.
Character development is also poor in this movie, mostly due to the lack of information provided to the audience viewer about Toorop, our lead protagonist. The bad guy doing the good guy work is how this movie feels for the better part, but it feels almost imminently as though Vin Diesel simply does not have the acting chops to pull off his good guy mercenary role.
This was a big budget production, with an estimated budget of $70 million, however, it feels as though a large chunk of this budget was spent on hiring Vin Diesel, as there are times during the movies runtime when it is evident the budget was cut for certain scenes, affecting the overall flow of the movie as a whole.
Without Vin Diesel, a half-descent actor, this movie would be total cliched garbage, given the movies villainous woman is weak, underdeveloped, and under-seen throughout the movies duration, and all of the mystery is almost thrown away by the obvious state of one of our main characters the movie is solely based around, the young girl.
Acting is fine within the movie, and what it is going for, but it is hard not to be distracted by the lack of acting efforts from Vin Diesel, pushing out his usual macho self to a point of almost infuriating intoxication. Vin Diesel is a descent all-round actor, but it feels as though throughout the movie he is using minimal effort to portray his character, leaving all of the acting work to his two co-leads, Melanie Thierry, playing the young girl (Aurora), and Michelle Yeoh, playing Sister Rebeka, who both do great work.
It is extremely difficult to not just see Babylon A.D. as yet another dumb Vin Diesel action/sci-fi movie, but this is the feeling that we are left with after the movies credits start rolling. The start of the movie was strong, the middle was mixed, and the end was utterly disappointing, but there is no arguing that this movie is a lot of fun to experience simply for what it is - a Vin Diesel movie that happens to be, surprise, surprise, a dumb action/sci-fi movie.
The action within this movie was fun in all fairness, but this did not happen nearly enough for it to affect the sci-fi elements that were placed all throughout this movie, playing into the fact that this movie was set far into the future, meaning technology has far advanced our own in the current world and time. Believe it or not, but it is actually the sci-fi elements within this movie that makes it so darned watchable, from the design of the collapsed society that we see at the start of the movie, to the design of the movies setting, it all hits on the right notes.
Action/sci-fi movies have been done far worse than this in the past, and from a personal perspective, this is a guilty pleasure movie of mine, and it is the scope that this movie goes for within its limitations that makes the movie so re-watchable, and the action is simply a bonus.
To summarise, Babylon A.D. receives a lower score than my own personal brain would like to give it, due to the overwhelming fact that this movie simply isn't all that great, but appeases my own senses.
The score given is a 3/5 Stars.
Wanna Own Babylon A.D. (2008) - Starring Vin Diesel!
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