Home Arts Weak plot, characters contaminate Ballistic

Weak plot, characters contaminate Ballistic

by Archives October 2, 2002

Director Wych Kaosayananda, who goes by the name Kaos, makes his first feature film debut thusly desecrating the very fabric of Lucy Liu’s appeal, and whatever appeal Antonio Banderas had left.

Ballistic is a deplorable debacle offering nothing but lunacy while one is confined to their seat.

The film’s characters are lifted from an unheard of video game and the plot is all but absent. It is poorly choreographed and a poorly filmed exhibition of monotonous action sequences. They are badly staged and lack meaning. It is a sin to watch all that money wasted on explosions when they do not elicit the desired effect.

The film stars Lucy Liu (agent Sever) who apparently enjoys being typecast as an action vixen and the abominable Antonio Banderas (agent Ecks). Both are rogue agents with a supposed hidden past that is poorly brought to life.

In film school, they teach a course entitled ‘character development’. This film lacks any development be it character, story or authenticity.

The wafer-thin plot revolves around a young kidnapped child who within him contains a new assassinating mechanism that can emit a fatal dose of something from within the victim. Large guns and ridiculous one-liners substitute for intelligence as our two characters first confront one another, and then as the film’s trailer reveals, collaborate in finding and destroying the film’s incomprehensible villain.

Keep in mind: rampant gunplay and large explosions inhibit the city of Vancouver where the filming took place and where the film sets itself.

Warner Bros. must have known what a tepid film this would be and if they knew, what executive in their right mind would permit it?

This film could have easily taken place in Los Angeles or New York, as the horrible plot has no real purpose for being in Canada. Yet, they decided to shoot and set the film in Vancouver, one of the cities dubbed, “Hollywood North”. With this in mind, Warner Bros. must have decided it was less costly to shoot in Vancouver than in some other urban metropolis and decided to decimate the streets of Vancouver making Canada’s beloved Mounties (the equivalent of the U.S.’s F.B.I.) look like pansies. All in the name of saving money on a film the executives knew would not make any.

In any event, realism lacks in Ballistic.

Ray Park (of Star Wars’ Darth Maul fame) gives it his best in this film, but his martial arts talents are wasted. He does not act and does not use any of his skills in front of the camera.

After the buildup for this battle between Agent Sever and Park’s character, the audience is treated to a knife fight lasting all but a couple of seconds. You have a black belt in Lucy Liu, and a proven Martial Arts Master in Ray Park, and this is what the film can come up with?

The rest of the film plays like a hybrid of failed ‘Matrix-like’ effects mixed with Michael Bay wannabe ambition.

The only problem – the director does not have the vision of a Michael Bay, nor the skill of the Wachowski Brothers. The Matrix composer Don Davis creates the film’s score, but it opens with some slow rock similar to that of those 80’s movies and constantly jumps from rock to tepid techno, while never complimenting the film’s action. Argentinean Cinematographer Julio Macat, who has lensed comedies such as Home Alone 2 and Cats & Dogs, had never before photographed a full-fledged action movie. And it shows.

The recycling of subjects for a film is one thing; it is okay to borrow ideas and turn them into your own for a film. Yet, when one lacks ingenuity and relies on borrowing ideas from other action films and then fails at replicating them, there must be a call to action – to never see another film by Director Kaos again.

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