Vulcan Stev’s LCARS database DVD review… Babylon AD
Game stats at the end of the review
Vin Diesel … Toorop
Michelle Yeoh … Sister Rebeka
Mélanie Thierry … Aurora
Gérard Depardieu … Gorsky
Charlotte Rampling … High Priestess
Mark Strong … Finn
A few decades in the future, a mercenary named Toorop (Vin Diesel) accepts a contract from a Russian mobster, Gorsky, who instructs him to bring a young woman only known as Aurora (Mélanie Thierry) to New York. In order to reach his goal, Gorsky gave Toorop a variety of weapons as well as a UN passport that has to be injected under the skin of the neck. Toorop, along with the girl and her guardian nun Sister Rebeka (Michelle Yeoh), travel from the Noelite Convent where they lived across Russia to reach America.
Reviewers VS, PITs #1, 2, & 3
VS 1 pointed ear.
I actually “watched” this twice. The first time through I fell asleep just after Toorop picked up Aurora. I chalked it up to stress relating to all that is going on in my life (see recent blog posts for more info). After watching it a second time and getting all the way through, I noticed a very marked cynicism towards organized religion. This I expect from Hollywood so that isn’t enough turn me off of a movie. There is an overall cynical worldview throughout the film.
What turned me off was that this film had too many questions that needed answering; Why can’t Toorop go to America? Why does an organized religion need to manufacture miracles? What caused Sister Rebeka to swear off violence since she seems to be so good at it? The ending seemed to be awfully convenient.
The director’s cut, according to IMDb, is 161 mins. The version on DVD is 90 mins. Maybe the missing 71 minutes answers some of these questions maybe it doesn’t. I wasn’t sufficiently impressed with this flick to buy an eventual Director’s Cut edition DVD.
Note to Vin Diesel fans, he sports stubble throughout most of the flick and proves that he NEEDS the bald head. Vin Diesel with hair is just another gravelly voiced actor.
PIT #1 .75 pointed ears
There was a plot? Great cinematography does not justify watching this movie.
PIT #2 no pointed ears.
I lost interest in this flick early on and went to play Motorcycle Madness on Facebook
PIT #3 .5 pointed ears.
At least there was no kissing.
Overall rating 2.25 pointed ears (out of 8). Rent-able, don’t bother purchasing this until it hits the discount bin
The film may have been an abysmal failure but the setting is quite usable. The near future of Babylon AD assumes that the corporations have taken over, advertising is everywhere. A little extrapolation of current events, the collapse of the global economy and a bit more high tech is all that’s needed.
The concept of the Toorop’s Character can be plopped into nearly any setting. He’s a pirate and can dropped into any Pirate adventure with just a change of weapons. Play Toorop as a disillusioned Browncoat, looking for profit wherever he can find it and desperately avoiding The Alliance and again the character can be played as is in a Firefly game. The Stargate SG1 season 3 episode “Dead Man’s Switch” dealt with an intergalactic bounty hunter after SG1. Toorop would fit nicely into a campaign based on this episode. Toorop as a bounty hunter and he slides right into any Star Wars campaign.
Agility: d8, Smarts: d6, Spirit: d6, Strength: d8, Vigor: d8
Pace 6, Parry 8, Toughness 6
Edges: Combat Reflexes, First Strike, Nerves of Steel
Hindrances: Code of Honor, Enemy of the Major Power in your campaign, Outsider
Skills: Fighting d12, Notice d10, Shooting d12, Streetwise d8, Driving d8, Guts d6, Survival d6, Riding d4
Gear determined by setting, but be sure to include lots of weapons
The character of Sister Rebeka, a woman with obvious training in the martial arts, who has dedicated her life to her religious beliefs, is also transportable into most settings.
Sister Rebeka: Veteran (due to her time being cloistered)
Agility: d10, Smarts: d8, Spirit: d8, Strength: d4, Vigor: d4
Pace 6, Parry 7, Toughness 4
Edges: Danger Sense, Strong Willed
Hindrances: Heroic, Pacifist, Loyal
Skills: Persuasion d12, Fighting d10, Notice d12, Streetwise d6, Survival d10, Riding d6
Aurora is more and less problematic as she is basically a Macguffin with lines. She’s the Governor’s daughter in a Pirates game. She could easily be from the same Alliance program that turned out River Tam in Firefly. She’s a young girl with the knowledge of the Ancients in Stargate SG1. *note* in the movie she is pregnant, this does not necessarily need to figure into your campaign
Agility: d6, Smarts: d8, Spirit: d8, Strength: d4, Vigor: d4
Pace 6, Parry 2, Toughness 4
Edges: Arcane Background (ability to read minds), Attractive
Hindrances: Clueless, Curious, Quirk (asks inappropriate questions at inappropriate times)
Skills: Healing d8, Persuasion d10, Notice d8, Investigation d8
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