The world is in disarray and Vin Diesel is clearly the man to help. But does Babylon A.D. stand up? We take a night off from gadgets to find out.



Vin plays Toorop, a mercenary hired to escort a young girl from somewhere deep and dark inside the Eurozone to the pretty disco coloured lights of America. Set in the future, of course, all is not well with the world, but that doesn't stop our Vin stepping up to the plate for the chance of some cash and a new life in the place everyone is trying to get to: the US of A.

It's not a simple pick up and drop off and Vin soon realises it (he doesn't actually). If it's not the bunch of people following him (sent by the girl's father, naturally), then it’s the man who hired him to do the job in the first place. Even the people receiving the girl don't really want him around.

But don't fret. You see Vin might be a merc happy to kill at a moment’s notice, but he's a sophisticated man too. Why? Well he eats rabbit he's cooked while drinking glasses of wine and won't be swayed from his job with bribery. The cad.

Without giving away the plot completely, although we probably should to save you the time of having to watch this drivel, needless to say it all goes tits up and Vin ends up having to "do the right thing".

Strangely that doesn't involve him sacrificing his life (a shame) but it ends on such a random note we still can't really work out what point the director was trying to make.

Who were the real baddies? What was the point? Why did the girl’s father turn up? Who are the religious sect the girl was being delivered to? Why do we care? What number bus do we need to get to town? This is one book adaptation (Babylon Babies by Maurice G. Dantec) that doesn't make any sense.

Elsewhere there is a bundle of features to bore your way through including a breakdown of some of the action sequences and an animated prequel to the movie in an attempt to make sense of it (it doesn't). Those looking to watch on the go get a digital copy on a separate DVD so you can bore yourself on the way to work on your iPod/MP3 player although we would only recommend it if you want to fall asleep and wake up at the end of the line - working out how to get home would be more exciting.

Verdict

The Blu-ray edition might be packed with HD features and a good picture quality (not sound mind you - you'll have to keep turning it up and down to hear the important bits), but that hasn't stopped Director Mathieu Kassovitz turning out another disappointment to match Gothika with Halle Berry and Assassin(s) with Sylvester Stallone. A shame considering French movies like Le Haine and The Crimson River are actually very good.



The problem with Babylon A.D. is that it starts out like every other Vin Diesel movie - cue voiceover of troubled times to a shot of the Earth from space. Vin plays the part of an old mercenary without any friends well enough, it's just his part is so typecast and so staid he's not really pushed - think Steven Segal rather than the next Bruce Willis. Even the action, what little there is, is lame.

The trouble is everyone else, including spots from Gérard Depardieu, Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger and Tomorrow Never Dies) and Charlotte Rampling do nothing to save what ultimately is a poor script and badly laid out plot and no doubt the rest of the film was left on the editing room floor - yes Vin and the girl almost get it on if it wasn't for the pesky karate chopping nanny coming back home at the wrong time.

In the movie Vin says: "I trust no-one," and we would say the same about anyone who recommends this deathly dull movie to you.

Rating: 15
Starring: Michelle Khan, Charlotte Rampling, Mark Strong, Vin Diesel, Gerard Depardieu
Directors: Mathieu Kassovitz
Extras: Babylon Babies, Arctic Escape, Fit for Screen, Flight of the Hummers, Deleted Scene: Hummer Sequence, Prequel to Babylon A.D: Genesis of Aurora - Graphic Novel, Stills Gallery (213 stills), Bonus View, Digital Copy

This Blu-ray was kindly loaned to us by Play.com, the UK’s favourite online entertainment retailer.