29 August 2008 | The_Amazing_Spy_Rises
I'm not much of a Vin Diesel fan, I'll be the first to admit. I will admit, that I enjoyed the first Fast/Furious movie and The Pacifier, as well as Triple X. He's exactly what you ask for in an action hero...but here, in this jumbled mess of a futuristic thriller, Diesel sinks his own vehicle with bland, unlikable, and just flat out detached performance.
First off, Babylon begs three questions: 1) what did director Mathieu Kassovitz do to make the studio so mad, 2) what is Gerard Depardeau doing in this movie, and 3) what happened to Vin Diesel's career? I'll answer all of those. Except number 2. I have no idea what he was thinking.
Director Kassovitz is certainly talented - there's no denying that. There are some moments where the film shines with beautiful shots, decent visuals, and some daring moves from the director of Gothika, but in the end, the editing process is so obviously influenced by the studio wanting to tone down the movie and keep it 'simple' that it really hurt the movie in the end, and it's very easy to see why the director is mad. If the movie has a director's cut, I'll give it another shot on DVD.
Vin, Vin, Vin...what happened, buddy? Five years ago you were the KING of action, and now...ugh. Diesel needs the next Fast and Furious movie to be awesome...for his credibility's sake. Scratch that. He just needs it, okay? I really felt no attachment to his character in this, even though you're supposed to go on this transcontinental adventure with him and feel what he feels, that's totally impossible because Diesel allows no room to feel what he's thinking. Michelle Yeoh, always the bright spot of movies, is a healthy addition to the film, while Melanie Thierry is absolutely gorgeous (so no complaints here). Again, I have no idea what some people were thinking. *slaps Gerard Depardeau and Charlotte Rampling*
The film is more of an apocalyptic thriller than an action thriller, and delves in to the realm of science fiction more than a few times. I especially liked Kassovitz's vision of a futuristic New York. Though not as scary as Francis Lawrence's vision in 'I Am Legend', it was still pretty dark, brooding, and intense. What action is in the movie is exciting. Though the snowmobile chase sort of came out of nowhere, it was still well done. It seems as if Vin has to have something like that in all of his films.
All in all, Babylon A.D. serves as a great example as to why studios are losing their minds *glares at the people who made Disaster Movie*, and should just let the directors and actors do their jobs correctly. There's a longer cut of this movie, I'm sure of it, and that cut will have better action, more development, and more explanation for the seemingly mind boggling events in the film. If said longer cut comes out, I'll give it a chance, and you should too. My real meaning? Wait for the DVD if you're interested at least a little.