Vin Diesel is one of those guys that wants to be a more prestigious actor than he has the ability to be, but while an Oscar will probably forever remain out his grasp, he’s still one helluva action star, and it’s in fare like “Babylon A.D.” where he shines the brightest. Taking place in a not-too-distant future, the film stars Diesel as Toorop, a mercenary who accepts a job escorting a young woman (a less-than-impressive Melanie Thierry) from Russia to America with the promise of his freedom in exchange. What Toorop doesn’t realize is that the girl in question is a little special, and in order to protect her from those looking to exploit her abilities, he must safely transport the girl to New York City before anyone gets in the way.

Babylon A.D.

For all of the noise surrounding the release of “Babylon A.D.” – which was fueled by director Matheiu Kassovitz’s public disownment of the film after 20th Century Fox went all Harvey Scissorhands on it – it’s really not as terrible as you’d expect. Still, nearly 50 minutes of footage was excised from Kassovitz’s cut, and from the looks of things, a lot of it came from the final act. The ending is one of the worst I’ve seen in a long time, and apart from the fact that it doesn’t really make any sense, it feels incredibly rushed, as if the cast and crew had more important places to be. There’s really no telling how much better the film might have been had the studio let the director make the film he wanted to make, but it couldn’t have been any worse. As it stands, “Babylon A.D.” is still a mediocre sci-fi actioneer with similarities to recent entries in the genre like “Children of Men” and “Serenity.” Unfortunately, you’d be better off just watching those instead.

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