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Monday, September 01, 2008

Babylon A.D.

I’ve always had a “thing” for Vin Diesel, but I could never quite figure out what that “thing” was. It wasn’t romantic or sexual. He wasn’t on my Future Ex-Husbands List, but still there was something about him that always put a smile on my face and made me want to see his movies. I studied him on talk show appearances with Ellen DeGeneres and those living headaches on “The Shrew” but other than his ability to be funny in the face of that yapping Republican lap dog Elizabeth Hasslecrack, he revealed no clues to why I am so drawn to him. Still, it’s good to know he has a sense of humor because most of his films (other than The Pacifier) aren’t exactly laugh riots. At least not intentionally.

This week I went to my usual hangout, the
Essex Cinemas, to see the oddly named Babylon A.D., which looked to be a sci-fi mystery from its previews. Strangely though, the preview gave no hint that the first mystery would be how Vin Diesel’s character got stuck with a name like Toorop. It made me wonder if he was one of Sarah Palin’s future children, I mean, geez, if she can name the ones she’s got now Track, Trig Paxson Van, Bristol, Willow, and Piper Indy, then Toorop doesn’t seem too out of place. Neither does the fact that Russia is now a bombed out third world country, where people are living like savages amidst military anarchy. It appears that in this movie McCain must have won the election after all.

Anyway, Toorop is living undercover in Russia since he is a mercenary and not very popular with others of his kind because he has crossed their paths and done their jobs for them, undercutting them in the past. Even so, he is still tracked down by an old nemesis named Gorky (Gérard Depardieu; Last Holiday), who has a job for him to do. He wants him to deliver a “package” to the United States. Sounds simple enough, eh? Well, if it was going to be that easy, Gorky could have called Fed Ex.

It turns out the “package” is a young woman named Aurora (Mélanie Thierry; Chrysalis), who has been squirreled away for her entire life in a Mongolian convent under the guidance of a kick-ass (literally) nun, Sister Rebeka (Michelle Yeoh; The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor). Now she’s supposed to go to New York and Toorop has to take her even though she and her constant companion, Sister Crankypants, don’t have passports. He doesn’t even know why he’s taking her there. For all he knows she could be starring in a Broadway revival of “Annie”. If only. SPOILER ALERT: No, it turns out that Aurora, who was named after the Princess in Sleeping Beauty for those who care, was genetically manipulated in the womb so that when she grew up she would become pregnant without having ever had sex. Her parents stuffed her in the convent so that men would not have access to her,
therefore verifying their claim to the world that their daughter was a virgin and so the birth would be declared ~ tada! ~ a miracle! Isn’t that special?

This has to be the lamest plot for a Vin Diesel action flick ever. I take that back. It is just the lamest plot for any action flick. Period. As soon as it became obvious what the deal was I basically checked out mentally and just let the bullets and explosions distract me while I drifted into another state and thought about Brangelina’s twins instead. If this movie dared to imply that some genetic experiment from Mongolia was going to birth the new Christ, they are sorely mistaken. Even People© Magazine recognizes the obvious ~ Brangelina welcomed the twin Messiahs on July 12 in Nice, France.

Babies, babies, babies… that’s when it dawned on me! I get it finally. Vin Diesel triggers my
maternal instincts. That cute bald head, those twinkling wide eyes, that adorable smile, those dimples. If you overlook his five o’clock shadow at noon, his sailor swearing, and his body the size of a side of beef, he could easily be a dead ringer for my own son when he was a newborn. He’s my “little man” and I’ll always love his movies, even Babylon A.D., though this one may be more like a red-headed step-child.

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