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Babylon A.D. (DVD)

Starring: Vin Diesel & Michelle Yeoh.

Rated: 12.

Story: In the not-so-distant future, a gruff mercenary (Diesel) must escort a mysterious young woman and her mentor (Yeoh) from a Mongolian convent to America. Along the way, they get involved in plenty of random violence, some dubious genetic manipulation and the cynical machinations of a New Age cult.

Just to make sure we know it's the future, showers talk to them.

Comments: Sometimes, despite being bad, a film can display something of its original potential. It's possible to see what the makers might have achieved if only they hadn't messed up. Perhaps with more money or stronger performances, a tighter script, better pacing or a touch of divine intervention, the project might have worked out.

Then there are movies like Babylon A.D. which are such a mess you wonder if you're unwittingly watching a reel of deleted scenes rather than the film itself.

What was everyone involved thinking? The script is incoherent and the dialogue ranges from uninteresting to nonsensical. Bizarre locations and dull action sequences are inserted for the sake of it. The plot and characters take so long to develop, it's hard to care about them. In fact, after an hour and a quarter, I was desperate to fast-forward the film to the end. On checking, however, I discovered I was only ten minutes from the credits anyway. I was relieved but also hugely confused since the movie seemed barely half way through...

Babylon A.D. feels like science fiction put together by people whose only experience of the genre is Escape from New York, Highlander: The Source and a few snatches of Blade Runner. ('Look! Talking showers, lots of guns, neon advertising and really, really big TVs - it's the future! Let's add some thugs on motorbikes...') There's no depth or point to it, merely some cool gadgets. It's a shambles.

Conclusion: Not quite as engaging as the episode of Basil Brush my kids are currently watching as they eat their tea.

Explosions: Some.
Unexpected location changes: Several.
The accidental cage match: Implausible.
Kung Fu nuns: One.
The best bit?: The end arriving an hour ahead of schedule.

Rating: 1/5.


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