Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever
September 20, 2002
Moved up from September 27, 2002
Ecks Vs. Sever is the latest videogame to be turned into a big-screen movie. The difference here, as opposed to other big projects such as Tomb Raider and Resident Evil, is that Ecks Vs. Sever is basically unknown in the videogame world. The title was released on the Game Boy Advance over the 2001 holiday season, so even calling the movie a videogame conversion is a bit of a tweak, yet this is exactly what the producers of Ecks Vs. Sever are doing.
The concept of the movie is quite strong for a futuristic sci-fi action flick. Jonathan Ecks is a federal agent who has been given the task of tracking down and terminating a rogue NSA agent with the moniker of Sever. The assignment proves to be very difficult, as Sever is equally intent on disposing of him, so the two of them test their skills against one another in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse. During the course of their encounters, each realizes that the duo have a more serious problem stemming from a mysterious entity who has manipulated the two of them against each other. When Ecks and Sever come to terms with the fact that they're both employed by the same people, they form an uneasy alliance as they attempt to determine the truth about who has set them both up and what this enigmatic party's nefarious intentions might be.
While the videogame is a generic first-person shooter (i.e., a Doom clone), the movie promises to be a Terminator-esque landscape, with early themes similar to the 1995 Sylvester Stallone movie Assassins. In that movie, Antonio Banderas was the scene-stealing bad guy who created major problems for the more seasoned hit-man he was trying to outgun. In Ecks Vs. Sever, Banderas will again play an assassin, but this time he will have the heroic part rather than the villainous one. His Jonathan Ecks will face off against, and later work with, Sever, played by Lucy Liu (Charlie's Angels and a brilliant Futurama appearance), as the two team up to take on a shadowy British black-ops agent. This character, a martial-arts master named Ross, will be portrayed by Darth Maul/Toad himself, Ray Park. Since all three actors have found extraordinary success in action films, it's fair to say that, while this cast might not be totally A-list, there is still a lot to like about the major players. Plus, the movie also offers the presence of former Bond girl Talisa Soto, constantly-typecast drug kingpin Miguel Sandoval and Ben Fong-Torres himself, Terry Chen.
Another positive for Ecks Vs. Sever is that it's written by the same man who created the hit movie Spawn, Alan B. McElroy. He has proven he can write sci-fi action films that sell tickets, so his presence on the Ecks script is comforting. An amusing caveat here is that McElroy followed the movie about forsaken hell-spawn by writing Left Behind, a film with strong religious overtones (and financing) which are as diametrically opposed to Spawn as possible.
Finally, the largest contributor adding to the hype of Ecks Vs. Sever is that this project will be the first English-language flick directed by Thai director Wych Kaosayananda AKA Kaos. His movie FHA is one of the biggest-grossing films in the history of Thai cinema. While Kaos certainly doesn't have the illustrious career of John Woo as he enters the forum of North American cinema, he does have similar buzz about what he brings to the table as an action director. Big things are expected of him, starting with this project, as was the case with Woo for Hard Target and later with Broken Arrow. (David Mumpower/BOP)
Comparison films for Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever
|Lara Croft:Tomb Raider
|Mask of Zorro
|Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams
|13th Warrior, The