MONKEY REVIEW: Babylon A.D.

August 29, 2008

Director Mathieu Kassovitz’s Babylon A.D., based on a highly regarded science fiction novel by French writer Maurice Dantec, arrives on American shores with a fairly toxic reputation, forwarded by no less than the director himself. To say that Babylon A.D. is a simplification of its source material is an understatement, so let me just say that what’s ended up on the screen is a handsomely produced science fiction chase movie, well directed and well acted for the most part. The problem, and what a big problem it is, is that it pretty much makes no sense. It’s the sort of movie where you wait for someone, anyone, to pull everything together and explain what exactly has been going on for the past hour and a half or so, but no, no such explanation is forthcoming. There’s a lot of running around, a lot of shooting and people getting beat up, several big explosions, and a few car chases, but when the credits roll, you’re left to wonder what it was all about, because the movie isn’t about to tell you. It’s got a solid cast, headed by Vin Diesel, Michelle Yeoh and Mélanie Thierry, and they keep it watchable, but all their efforts can’t overcome a screenplay that just goes nowhere.

MONKEY RATING: FOUR MONKEYS

(For a brief explanation of the Monkey Review rating system, click here.)

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3 Responses to “MONKEY REVIEW: Babylon A.D.”

  1. thekoolaidmom Says:

    We watched this movie last week and came away with the same feeling. What the heck was it all about? Where’d the twins come from? Why is on black and one white? Why were the Noelites so hot after her for their miracle? Then they’d just give up when they couldn’t get where she was out of the doc? Does the book make more sense?

    The action and visuals were awesome, but even still, The Matrix trilogy is even better and makes more sense.

  2. radiondn Says:

    WARNING TO READERS – CONTAINS SPOILERS

    I agree about the action and the visuals. The final big action scene was really well done in particular, which tied it back to the beginning nicely. The section of the film after that, where you expect to get answers, just creates even more questions, including all the ones you posed. I also wanted to know why Aurora died. If they explained why that happened, I missed it. I remember thinking when that final flash-forward was playing out, “This better not be the end of the movie,” and it WAS. Oh well. Babylon A.D. had all the elements of a good sci-fi action flick, except an all crucial point.

  3. movie buff Says:

    the previews for Babylon AD made me expect something a lot more original… it totally felt like a cross between Minority Report and the Fifth Element


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