Click here to return to the main site.

DVD Review

DVD cover

Babylon A.D.


Starring: Vin Diesel, Michelle Yeoh and Mélanie Thierry
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 15
Available 29 December 2008

In a post apocalyptic dystopia of the not too distant future Toorop (Vin Diesel) is a mercenary who is hired to transport a young woman named Aurora (Mélanie Thierry) and her watcher Sister Rebeka (Michelle Yeoh) from New Serbia to New York utilising whatever means he can. But, through the journey, Toorop comes to realise that Aurora is much more than she seems, possibly mankind's salvation...

Babylon A.D: Special Extended Edition (2008, 1 hr, 36 min, 50 sec) should have been a sure fire hit. It's directed by Mathieu Kassovitz (La Haine, Gothika) from the seminal novel, Babylon Babies by Maurice G. Dantec.

Starring Vin (bring back Riddick) Diesel and Gérard Depardieu, this film had the potential to be truly a action orientated, yet philosophical, work. What we actually have is a film which never matches up to its own potential, failing to become the Bladerunner for a new generation. It's still enjoyable as a no-brainer action pic, but it really should have been so much more. The non-extended version runs to 1 hr, 26 min, 34 sec, but for the life of me I couldn’t see any great difference between the two.

Don’t get me wrong its not a totally bad film there is a lot of action, though to honest Aurora’s role in the whole thing did become a little obscured by the end. Once Vin has picked up the package, the film becomes one long chase sequence. Apparently they have to enter America via Canada as he is banned. He is given a nifty thing to stick in his neck, when he get to the border, which will act as a clean passport. Great, but why didn’t he just inject himself straight away and then they could have all taken a plane to the States? It’s this sort of sloppy story element which lets the film down.

In many ways the film suffers the same fate as Dune. Fans of the book will get to see their favourite sequences committed to film while the rest of us just sit there scratching our heads.

The film has a number of extras, though the promised "Digital Copy" of the film, which can be transferred to your portable media player, was nowhere to be seen - Ah well the itouch goes back in the draw. It is annoying that when a PR company sends out discs for review they leave out what is potentially the best selling point. So instead we have Babylon Babies (11 min, 4 sec) an interview with Dantec providing insights to the original novel and the making of the film, which for the most part is in French with burned-in subtitles.

Arctic Escape (11 min, 41 sec) is a piece with Bob Brown the stunt coordinator, walking us through the making of the ski-jet sequence. Fit for the Screen (7 min, 4 sec) another piece with Bob and Vin talking you through some of the stunt work. Hummer in Flight (8 min) is a small feature with Kenny Bates, the stunt coodinator, talking about the Hummer chase.The amount of stunt coordinators will give you an idea of the large amount of action in the film.

Potentially the most interesting extra is Prequel to Babylon AD: Genesis of Aurora (5 min, 1 sec), what looks to be a Shockwave animation which should be watched after the film if you don’t want your enjoyment spoiled. Rounding up the extras are some deleted scenes (2 min, 26 sec), worth watching once. Presumably the sequence was cut for pacing as it’s a good slice of action. And lastly there's a stills gallery.

The picture is suitably clear for such a new film and comes with either the normal vocal track or an English descriptive audio track. There are also subtitles for the hearing impaired.

Fans of Vin will not be put off - and I count myself amongst that crowd. Personally, although it made little sense, I still enjoyed the film. Now bring back Riddick.


Charles Packer

Buy this item online

We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal
Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£14.99 (
£12.99 (
£12.00 (
£12.99 (
£16.99 (

All prices correct at time of going to press.