Thursday, August 28, 2008

Babyon A.D.

The first thing I ever watched by Mathieu Kassovitz was a French film in 1995 called La Haine, known by English audiences as Hate. This was a great example of how Kassovitz was talented at telling a story in unique ways with an obvious skill behind the camera and behind the pen because he wrote, directed and starred in La Haine.
His latest offering is a big budget Hollywood extravaganza called Babylon A.D., which from the first scene proves that he is still skilled, but somehow changed. Not sure if working in the industry for several years has warped him or if it is just growing older and more hardened. Starting with an explosion and blending right into a gun-drenched, angry display by Vin Deisel, the opening sequence looked like classic Kassovitz with a serious case of 'roid rage.
So much macho posturing from the go, it looked like the whole film would be tortuously filled with overt displays of manliness.
Luckily, the story got better.
The story actually got really good. There were still moments of too-much-testosterone, but it was an intriguing storyline that demonstrated Kassovitz's abilities of yesteryear.
Okay, now the spoilers:
The solid storytelling devolves with a rush to finish the movie as if they ran out of money, time or desire to put forth effort. The final quarter of the film really does not fit with the rest of the story, especially not the final scene.
Vin Deisel's closing line of the film is delivered with all the acting skill of a ninth grader who got cut from the drama club. And the close of the story is not much better.
The first three-quarters of the film are a solid B, but the ending is so bad it drags it all down to a C-.
--John Berry, Online Editor--


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