Jacques Mesrine is not a very nice man. He is aggressive, murderous, and determined, which, in turn, makes him one of the most interesting figures in history. One of the most infamous criminals in France, the biopic focusing on his escapades was so epic and badass that they had no choice but split them into two films – kind of like Kill Bill, and just as good (if not better). Gritty, suppurating, and uncompromising, coupled with a phenomenal performance from Vincent Cassel, Killer Instinct is a movie not to be ignored.
I’ve aspired to see these movies for some time now. From what I had previously read, many reviewers seem to make a terrible and erroneous comparison with Scarface. The truth is that Killer Instinct is far more callous and realistic than the Al Pacino snowfest that glorified those boring coke heads. If comparisons be made, the film has more in common with titles like Chopper, The Postcard Bandit, Prison Break, or Goodfellas – with a metric fuck ton of violence alongside the very strong cultural essence of France as well.
Sometimes you see a movie and you’re just not sure what to say about it. You’ve got one thousand and one very solid thoughts about it, but you’re not sure how to put them. Sometimes this is a good thing and sometimes it’s bad. None the less, this is what has happened to me for Babylon A.D., so bear with me as best you can.
Babylon A.D. Directed by Mathieu Kassovitz
Starring Vin Diesel, Michelle Yeoh, Melanie Thierry, Lambert Wilson, Gerard Depardieu
Release date: August 29, 2008
Earlier this week director Mathieu Kassovitz told AMC that he was very unhappy with Babylon A.D.. “It’s pure violence and stupidity,” he admits. “The movie is supposed to teach us that the education of our children will mean the future of our planet. All the action scenes had a goal: They were supposed to be driven by either a metaphysical point of view or experience for the characters”¦ instead parts of the movie are like a bad episode of 24.”
Ultimately, Kassovitz is correct in everything he said but that didn’t make me hate the film, but nothing was enough for me to like it either. To me, the film seemed like someone tried to take Children of Men, Blade Runner, Minority Report, The Fifth Element , and Serenity and attempted to incorporate all the best elements into this post-apocalyptic tale, which ended up instead being nothing short of The Bodyguard or Waterworld, where you have a stoic male character protecting a younger female character. As the director himself put it, this film was simply a bunch of cut action scenes that blend together into a story that had absolutely no character development or story all.