Babylon A.D.

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(2008)

Channel 4: Saturday 27 June, 10.55pm

Mercenary Vin Diesel escorts Mélanie Thierry from Mongolia to New York in the dangerously grungy post-apocalyptic future. And it’s raining, too. Mankind’s salvation in the balance, again, in derivative sci-fi action filtered through a Grand Theft Auto grid. Like Neil Marshall’s far superior Doomsday, it apes the atmosphere of John Carpenter’s genre pictures, but here it’s without the subversive wit and colourful characters. Lambert Wilson is the only actor who seems to believe what he’s saying. Even by the dodgy standards of comic-strip flicks, this is trashy and insane. It looks like loads of money was spent on hardcore FX but the dialogue’s a babble of tough-guy talk, so it sounds cheap. And the songs are by the RZA, so it sounds as ugly as it looks. When you see something like this, it makes you realise the art and craft that went into Richard Kelly’s widely derided Southland Tales.

Certificate: 12

Duration: 90min