Babylon A.D.

Release Date: August 29, 2008

Movie of the Day for Saturday, September 15, 2007
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88/196 Max Braden Nice cinematography from Arbogast as usual.

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Everyone knows who Mattheiu Kassovitz is whether the name rings a bell or not. To some, he is brains behind the brilliant mid-'90s social violence film, La Haine. To others, he is Nico, Amelie’s hard to get love interest. And to the rest, he directed Gothika and needs to give you your $8 back. The folks in the first category have been waiting for a worthy follow-up to La Haine since 1995 and Babylon A.D. sounds alternative enough to fill that void. The film stars Vin Diesel, Gerard Depardieu, Charlotte Rampling, and Michelle Yeoh in what might be the strangest casting since Diesel costarring with Dame Judi Dench in The Chronicles of Riddick. In the film, Diesel plays Thoorop, a veteran turned mercenary who must escort Yeoh to China. The wacky twist is that she is a human host that will produce a genetically modified Messiah thanks to a religious cult. To me, it sounds like a nutty screwball comedy in the waiting, but since it was based on a novel by French author Maurice Dantec (The Red Siren), it probably won’t be Bringing Up Yeoh or Road to China.

Given the current world climate, you can guess that this film will carry some heavy-handed politics along with the action, of which there should be plenty courtesy of Diesel, Yeoh, and Rampling (who can do a mean spin kick).

With Diesel needing a hit and the others famous abroad, it will be interesting to see if Kassovitz can pull this off. After the debacle of his last directorial effort, the horrible Gothika, he needs to remind the public that La Haine wasn’t a one-time shot at greatness. Though with numerous reports of delays, budget problems, and release date push-backs, one has to wonder if this is that movie. (Michael Hirsch/BOP)

Vital statistics for Babylon A.D.
Main Cast Vin Diesel, Gerard Depardieu, Michelle Yeoh
Supporting Cast Charlotte Rampling, Mark Strong, Radek Bruna, Melanie Thierry, Lambert Wilson
Director Mathieu Kassovitz
Screenwriter Eric Besnard
Distributor Twentieth Century Fox
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Rating PG-13
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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