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Babylon AD

Babylon AD is a movie about stuff almost happening. Pretty much the whole movie is about psyching up the audience into thinking stuff is going to happen, then revealing that no, nothing’s going to happen. Let me give away the whole film to explain what I mean.

Vin Diesel heads to a Serbian arms market where he was sold a broken gun. He almost roughs up the vendor and starts a fight, but he quietly accepts a refund and leaves. At home, he is attacked by mercenary kidnappers. He almost shoots his way out, but goes along with them instead. The kidnappers work for a gangster who sends Vin Diesel to take a pair of nuns from Serbia to America. Along the way he almost has to fight the employees of one nun’s father, almost brawls with Russian human traffickers, and almost has trouble sneaking into America (fortunately they just skip that part). In America, Vin Diesel almost gets blown up, almost confronts the film’s true villain, and almost falls in love with one of the nuns, except the film ends before any of it comes to fruition.

Babylon AD is a frustrating tease of a film that dangles adventure in front of the viewer’s nose like a carrot made of guns and car chases. Mostly lame, unproductive exposition and unimpressive scenery effects shots, the film contains only small pockets of eventfullness, all plagued by awful choreography and editing. The filmmakers seemed mainly concerned with showing us their creative, original science fiction world, where Eastern Europe and the Balkans are battle-scarred ganglands and America is a soulless neon wasteland lorded over by giant heartless corporations. This may all sound not at all fictitious, but in Babylon AD, there are a lot more motorcycles and TVs everywhere than there are today. That’s how you know it’s the future.

To recap: Babylon AD is a science fiction action film with no action or science fiction. If you’re smart, it will also be bereft of your viewership.


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