Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever

Review Date:
Director: Kaos
Writer: Peter Lenkov, Alan McElroy
Producers: Elie Samaha, Chris Lee
Antonio Banderas
Lucy Liu
Ray Park
I’m not exactly sure what the plot was in this film, but let me give it a shot anyway. It’s about this guy whose wife was killed in a car explosion years ago, but now, might actually be alive. There’s also this woman who likes to blow stuff up, and I’m pretty sure that she used to work with this guy (or maybe not). Then, there’s this bad guy who stole this device and slipped it into his kid’s arm. A kid who the woman from earlier, kidnaps. Not sure why she keeps him, but I’m pretty sure she’s pissed at the bad guy about something or another. Wow, this is getting long, eh? Forget it…I didn’t really get much out of this flick, but if you figure it out for yourself…more power to you. Lots of explosions ensue!
Definitely a candidate for one of the worst movies of the year, ECKS VS SEVER gives new meaning to the word “incoherent”, provides as much excitement as my big ass and veils its lame plotline with lots of slow-motion, loud explosions and close-ups of Antonio Banderas’ awesome two-day stubble. If you don’t mind sitting in a theater for the better part of 85 minutes, trying to figure out which character plays for which team, or whether or not you should give a shit about any of them in the first place (you won’t), then be my guest and jump right into this train-wreck, which can’t even be salvaged by the cool outfits donned by Banderas and Lucy Liu respectively. Alright, so that’s not entirely fair to the movie since it does feature two pretty decent action scenes, one with Liu blowing up pretty much everyone on a street corner (a scene which still can’t even hold a candle to the candle-holder of the awesome street shootout sequence from HEAT) and another, a motorcycle chase, which isn’t particularly memorable either, but does mildly entertain for a few minutes. There’s also a cool shot (the money shot!) of a man falling off a building with the camera following him all the way down (all together now: gratuitous!), but ultimately, even the anticipated mano-a-womano fight between Ray Park and Liu falls flat. What sucks about the movie?

First up, the story is about as easy to follow as my ex-ex-girlfriend in her cheating days, with numerous questions building upon numerous questions and rarely any true answers (“So if he’s a bad guy, how come they don’t arrest him right there? How did they find this illusive woman so easily? If she was married to him before, why did she marry the bad guy, and how does the other woman know about their kid…? Who’s good, who’s bad in this movie and what the fuck does DIA stand for??” And believe you me, there’s plenty more where that came from!) But then I reminded myself about how I’d been hitting the bottles again of late, so maybe it was just my little head that wasn’t able to connect the dots. Then I noted the bad dialogue (“His nickname is…The Prince of Darkness!” Pleaaaaaaaaaaaaasee!), the boringest soundtrack this side of a Yanni movie, the obvious plot devices (yup, they actually have a “rookie” officer show Banderas a picture of his wife and kids before the big showdown aaaaaaaaaaand…well, I’ll let you guess what happens to the doting husband a few minutes later…ugh!), the bad acting (Ray Park…dude, I like you, you seem like a nice chap…you kicked major ass as Darth Maul…but let me be the first to tell you: don’t quit the day job) and enough attempts at dramatic interaction between characters to make you wanna gag (it just doesn’t work, folks). My favorite part is when we finally find out why the “bad guy” became a “bad guy” and the answer is basically…he felt like it! Yipes! Emergency…calling Screenwriting 101…cardiac arrest!!

Am I being too hard on the movie? Maybe a little bit, but when you really step back and look at it, it doesn’t deliver anything particularly unique, it doesn’t put forth a comprehensible story, it doesn’t provide for any good lines, any “awesome” action sequences, any excitement…any anything! I was kinda hoping that the film’s final showdown would blow me away, but even that was as uninspired as the final broohaha in 3000 MILES TO GRACELAND. Just a whole lot of huge mutha explosions, idiotic character moves and inexplicable resolutions. BTW, I’m a pretty big fan of “wham-bam” movies, and when even I can’t give two shitlets about much of what’s transpiring on the big screen…you know you’re in trouble. Also, is it just me or after half the fuckin’ city of Vancouver is blown to bits by this woman who lives in an unexplained lair and carries bazookas around like chewing gum, wouldn’t you think that more folks might be “up in arms” or at the very least, notice a woman with a hood and cape standing on an overpass holding a missile launcher at cars passing underneath?? The over-the-top nature of this film might actually have been acceptable if they had just made it coherent, engaging or “hey, how about this for an idea?”…entertaining! Unfortunately, all we get is X vs Y and nobody knows what the fuck any of the letters stand for! Am I angry? You bet I am…I just wasted 85 minutes of my life which I could have dedicated to writing poems about whales. Life sucks and so does this movie.

(c) 2021 Berge Garabedian

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