“Babylon A.D.” – Susan Granger reviews

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There’s an old saying: “Success has many parents but failure is an orphan.”

Writer/director Mathiew Kassovitz (“Gothika”) has publicly called this sci-fi thriller ‘pure violence and stupidity,‘ with parts of the film resembling ‘a bad episode of “24,“ and 20th Century-Fox refused to make screenings available to critics, either before or after its release. Yet, some executive, somewhere, supervised Kassovitz’s adaptation with Eric Besnard of Maurice G. Dantec’s philosophical novel “Babylon Babies,“ which focused on the political implications of bio-technology, along with the disintegration of the American Empire.

Set in the not-too-distant future, when countless satellites monitor every move, the world has become a war zone, filled with nuclear, radioactive meltdowns. Toorop (Vin Diesel) is a mistrustful mercenary hired by portly Gorsky (Gerard Depardieu) to smuggle a mysterious young woman named Aurora (Melanie Thierry) and her guardian, Sister Rebeka (Michelle Yeoh), from a convent in Kazakhstan and deliver her to a crazed, feminist Noelite High Priestess (Charlotte Rampling) in New York City. Raised by her father, Dr. Darquandier (Lambert Wilson), the virginal Aurora speaks 19 languages, reads minds, forsees the future and is seen as the ethereal savior of mankind. Crossing the frozen Russian tundra, Toorop must engage in extreme fighting, even dying, only to come back with cybernetically-enhanced limbs.

Despite its thematic similarity to Alfonso Cuaron’s apocalyptic “Children of Men,“ the script is wretched with sloppy, repetitive dialogue; noisy, confusing action sequences; and little continuity. And the way Melanie Thierry speaks her lines can only be described as ludicrous. Covered with fake tattoos, Vin Diesel mopes and mumbles with a bad attitude although, judging by recent publicity, he’s still staunchly promoting this debacle. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Babylon A.D.“ is a dismal 1. Undeniably awful.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.