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BABYLON A.D. (2008)
movie review by David Blackwell

90 minutes, PG-13
ASPECT RATIO: 2.35:1

STARRING Vin Diesel (Toorop), Michelle Yoeh (Sister Rebeka), Melanie Thierry (Aurroa), Gerard Depardieu (Gorsky), Charlotte Rampling (High Priestess), Joel Kirby (Doctor Newton)
WRITTEN by Mathieu Kassovitz and Joseph Simas- screenplay
based on the novel BABYLON BABIES by Maurice G. Dantec
DIRECTED by Mathieu Kassovitz

STUDIO: 20th Century FOX/ Canal+/ Legende Films/ MNP Enterprise/ Okko Productions
Theatrical RELEASE DATE: 8-29-2008

BABYLON A.D. is a great sci-fi action film. However, the public dispute between director Mathieu Kassovitz and 20th Century Fox over a PG-13 cut of the film for North America has me wondering if audiences are missing out on what could have the 21th century action film equivalent of BLADE RUNNER. Kassovitz wants an R rated film that is closer to the intelligent novel BABYLON BABIES (which BABYLON A.D. is based on). Now the PG-13 version is almost as good as CHILDREN OF MEN. I do hope that 20th Century Fox does release the longer European cut (at least 10 minutes longer) when BABYLON A.D. hits DVD.

Mercenary Toorop (Vin Diesel) is living in Russia when a Russian gangster Gorsky (a very unrecognizable Gerad Depardieu) gives him a job of transporting Aurora (Melanie Thierry) from a convent in Asia to New York City. She must be there in six days. Along with Aurora is her protector/ stand-in mom Sister Rebeka (Michelle Yoeh). Everyone who knows about Aurora is watching Toorop and his cargo. Toorop begins to discover that there is something different about Aurora. The people who want her are the Neolites who give faith to women who lost their way. What follows is a series of action sequences and bit character moments as Toorop realizes he has stepped into something that could change the world. Vin Diesel is in the type of movie he is best in (sci-fi action) while Michelle Yoeh adds to the action quotient. The movie makes me want to read BABYLON BABIES (which I bought right after seeing the film). So expect a comparison between the book and the film in the near future. The hints of how slummy Russia is and the extra Homeland Security measures of the USA in addition to the religious overtones brought by the Neolites up for a power grab makes me wonder what the book will bring to the world hinted at in BABYLON A.D.

this movie review is (c)9-2-2008 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com  

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