Making the Grades
If Babylon A.D. is a glimpse of the future, then the outlook is grim. Gun-toting vigilantes patrol the streets outside of decaying, vandalized compounds. Crowded transportation systems are regular targets of bombings and shootings, yet refugees still claw their way aboard trains and boats seeking for a safe haven in a world ruled by terrorists and trained killers. In short, the milk of human kindness has fermented into the sick liquor of kill or be killed.
Among the citizens of this degenerate society is Toorop (Vin Diesel), a paid mercenary living in the squalor of a ravaged Russian community. After hacking up the bloody corpse of a rabbit for dinner, his meal is interrupted by a swarm of rifle-packing militants who blow off the door and storm his apartment. Their boss, Gorsky (Grard Depardieu), has a package to be delivered to America and promises to supply Toorop with a fake identity and passport (implanted on a microchip in his neck) that will allow the ex-Veteran to slip past the U.S. border authorities.
Arranging a special pick-up, (Toorop's car is literally picked up by a huge magnet hanging from a helicopter and hauled off to a secret location outside of a monastery) the mercenary meets Sister Rebeka (Michelle Yeoh) and her mysterious ward Aurora (Mlanie Thierry). His assignment, he discovers, is to get the girl safely to New York.
However, this is no average UPS delivery. Sister Rebeka is slow to reveal the girl's background, putting Toorop and his charges in danger from religious fanatics and scientists who are battling for supremacy in the futuristic society. Both, it seems, want the girl with a special power that will further their causes. As the bullets begin to fly, Toorop's obligation forces him to fight off hordes of rival mobsters, missile-shooting rebels and a bloody cage fighter.
Carrying enough firepower to start a small revolution, these characters blast their way from one scene to the next with only a dab of story or character development. Gruesome scenes of dead animals, point-blank shootings and explosive blasts send the violence quotient skyrocketing while profanities and a sexual expletive riddle the script. Wrapping up with a hasty conclusion that is neither satisfying nor sensible, Babylon A.D. is a disappointing adaptation of Maurice G. Dantec's novel Babylon Babies. A dark prediction of an atrophying world overrun by hired guns and unrestrained extremists, the film offers a future bathed in blood, short on hope and just plain painful to watch.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Babylon A.D..
Why do films often portray future society as dark and decaying? Is humanity making decisions today that will lead to that kind of civilization?
What impact does the constant violence seem to have on Toorop and other members of the community? What changes his outlook?