Babylon A.D. Blu-ray Review

Published 5 years ago by

babylon ad vin diesel4 Babylon A.D. Blu ray Review

Vin Diesel returned to the big screen in 2008 in Babylon A.D. – a Sci-Fi post-apocalyptic flick in which he is tasked with delivering a young woman named Aurora (Mélanie Thierry) from Russia to America. His name is Toorop, and he’s a veteran mercenary who seems to be tired of war and looks to this job as an opportunity to get to America.

Toorop is tasked to do this by who seems to be the biggest gangster in the war-torn and over-populated city where he lives. It’s a big payday and a chance to leave this place behind. Toorop is taken to an ancient monastery far away from the slums to pick up Aurora and her guardian Rebeka (Michelle Yeoh). While Rebeka gives off a vibe of being able to protect herself, Aurora has been very much sheltered from the world – we get a sense that there is something special about her.

The bulk of the film is basically the story of their attempts to get out of the country despite an opposing force trying to capture Aurora as well. It’s actually pretty effective during this majority part of the movie, including a number of great action scenes involving a cage fight, escape from a refugee camp and a snowmobile chase.

The movie completely shifts gears when they finally make it to New York City, where the leader of a psuedo-religion wants Aurora for some mysterious reason – which she is certain will give their movement the final push it needs to lock its position of power in the world.

Over the course of the film all three major characters go through changes and they come to trust each other despite Toorop’s ice-cold “trust no one” worldview.

bd babylonad Babylon A.D. Blu ray ReviewThis film had a lot of behind the scenes controversy, with French director Mathieu Kassovitz ending up livid at 20th Century Fox for their intrusion into the filmmaking process and the cuts they made to the film. Unfortunately I never saw the theatrical version so I don’t know how this “Raw & Uncut” version of the film compares. I’ll say that it wasn’t really that bad, however I probably wouldn’t buy this. If you can rent it in the Blu-Ray format however, I think it’s worth watching once.

The audio and the picture on this disc are impressive, with lots of use of surround and great panoramic vistas that always look fantastic in Hi-Def. It has quite a few special features:

There is an 11 minute interview with the author of the story the film is based on, “Babylon Babies,” Maurice Georges Dantec. If you can get past the pretensions of the guy (sunglasses during an interview, oddly greasy “I am cool” hair) he actually gives some interesting background about the story. The interview however actually left me feeling like his story must have started at the exact moment the film most oddly ends.

The features also include a look at the shooting of the “Arctic Escape” scenes “Flight of the Hummers” and other features on the film’s big stunt scenes. In addition there’s also a 5 minute video comic about Aurora that serves as a prequel to the film. One thing that’s missing is a director’s commentary, which in the case of this film considering its history would have been very interesting to hear. Of course it’s not surprising that such a commentary isn’t on the film considering Fox produced the disc. icon razz Babylon A.D. Blu ray Review

What I didn’t like about the Blu-Ray version was that I couldn’t hit the “Play” button to see how far along I was in the film – no pop-up progress bar. Also the menu picks were extremely small and hard to navigate, even on my 60″ HDTV.

Overall I’d say this film isn’t nearly as awful as everyone makes it out to be, except for the rather abrupt ending that leaves you feeling like a bunch more of the movie is missing.

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  1. Well apparently my boyfriend and I watched the theatrical version.

    The movie ended and we were like ‘uhhhh, what was the point?’

    Garbage IMO

    • This was such a good movie, I am confused as to why there is not a 2nd, 3rd, or 5th part to it????? Are we to expect an ending to this movie as it was sooooo great?? Not sure why it has not had more positive reviews? But it is so much better than all those real life/reality shows that I am so sick of living(is that not what its all about? not reality, but fantasy, like snow white, peter pan, etc…….. I am so sick of reality, that I want some fricken FANTASY TOO???? Come On People……….. If you want reality, look out your back door, go shopping, etc……………………Maybe talk to a few friends you thought were loyal, or even liked you????………You know what I’m talking about.really, reality sucks, in a way???…..

  2. @Evie

    Yeah, that ending definitely left me with the same reaction.

    Vic

  3. “… on my 60″ HDTV.”

    Color me jealous.

  4. @INK

    LOL, sorry, man… But believe me, I was due. My last TV was over 10 years old and I *do* run a movie/TV site after all. :-P

    Actually got a screamin’ deal on it or I wouldn’t have bought it. It’s a Sony and I think I got it for under $1,500.

    Vic

  5. Maybe ending a movie on a “HUH??!!” is what Diesel wants; Riddick ended like that and now this movie. I was expecting a sequel to Riddick but nada.

    BTW, can I get a 60″ HDTV for under $50? :-)

  6. Hey Vic, I e-mailed you about this awhile back and asked if you knew what was different about the theatrical version vs this one, well I finally netflixed it and saw it this weekend too, heres my review, and compare/contrast to the theatrical version:

    I liked this movie in the theater.

    So if you wanna be spoon-fed the movie plot you aren’t gonna like this movie, I actually think its Fox’s fault for interrupting with what the director wanted, in fact this “raw and uncut” version isn’t even the directors cut because the director said he never even was allowed to film the scenes he wanted, making this I guess a studio exec cut?

    If you discuss the movie afterward you can piece it together rather well, sure there’s a hole or two in the plot but it seemed to make very good sense when it was all said and done. Long story short for people who still don’t get it, the girl was a bio-engineered human designed to give birth “immaculately” to 2 children, who would function as the centerpiece for the crazy woman’s religion legitimizing it while making her rich, then the bio-engineer couldn’t go through with it because he saw the girl as his daughter and the women for the crazy zealot she was and interfered with the plans. The rest you can easily figure out.

    If you saw this movie in the theater then this BD version will have some nice extra scenes cut in, >>>BUT<<< at the cost of other scenes that I personally liked and cannot fathom why are not still in this “uncut” version. For example the last chase scene, just action for the sake of it but dude, you filmed it and it was good, put it in the uncut version, and at the end in the theater you see the children (one white, one black), you see Toorop caring for them, his home restored, etc, this is completely cut from the BD version of the movie and not even on the disc as a deleted scene, WTF! This was a deal breaker for me, even the cheapest DVD version has the uncut and theatrical version.

    I was really disappointed in Fox for this BD because of that, on the other hand I liked the story, I liked the acting, I liked the picture quality, on blu it was friggin amazing, but I kinda say F Fox for screwing with this movie, worth a rent or netflix but I wont support Fox on this BD, maybe a special edition in the future for Vin Diesel’s sake but not this, not right now.

    • I know this is a little late in the game, but I want to say that I COMPLETELY concur with you. I really think the “uncut” version is ridiculous. An extra line here or there and a lot of the good parts of the theatrical version completely missing. The plot is actually MORE difficult to decipher in the “uncut” version whereas in the theatrical version it’s fairly plain if, like you said, you don’t need your plot spoon fed to you. So bravo Richard… two years later. LOL