Into the Archives: Babylon A.D. (2008)

Why am I watching Babylon A.D. (2008) in 2017? Because we just changed out cable plan from one scam to a new scam where we have ALL THE CHANNELS! I literally feel compelled to watch all the movies. It’s an urge I’ve only ever felt in times when my body wants to nap or my eyes see passed appetizers or deserts.
Upon seeing a Vin Diesel movie that was also about my favorite subject I squealed a bit then got comfortable.

clip_image001In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, a battle-hardened mercenary, Toorop (Vin Diesel), lives by his own code and the credo kill or be killed. His latest assignment is to escort a young woman named Aurora (Mélanie Thierry) and her guardian, Sister Rebeka (Michelle Yeoh), from Kazakhstan to New York. Facing danger at each turn, Toorop begins to realize that Aurora represents the last hope for mankind’s survival.

In the first few minutes, Vin Diesel does his best Vin Diesel. He grumbles and smirks and explains to someone with a gun pointed at him that as one sided as this situation may seem, it won’t end well for the guy with the (presumed) upper hand. It’s at this point where you either commit to Vin Diesel in an Apocalyptic Wasteland: The Film or bail because you’ve already seen this movie but with cars or secret agents doing X-games sports.
I took a moment to count my blessings then hunkered down for Vin Diesel the mercenary in the not too distant future. His name is Toorop and for a long time, it’s neither clear nor important if that’s his first or last name.
Toorop is hired to transport a girl to America—a country he’s been barred from entering in (this movie is heavy-handed when it comes to exposition in dialogue). The girl is a weirdo who grew up in a remote convent isolated from the rest of the world with a lady-Monk as her guardian.
The Monk, like all Monks apparently, is skilled at hand to hand combat and unphased but everything and anything she encounters. The girl, on the other hand, seems to be a toddler in the body of a twenty-year-old. She literally wanders off every chance she gets, trusts strangers, and asks every single question that enters her mind.
At one point, it’s clear there are two factions who are fighting to get the girl away from Vin Diesel and company but not at all clear why. Also not clear is why Toorop doesn’t take the millions of dollars he’s offered to let someone else finish this job he was basically blackmailed and strong-armed into taking. Honor?
Babylon A.D. doesn’t quite explore the current landscape or how it became the way it is. The movie is a series of fight scenes, explosions, quick get-aways, sexy stares, and pseudo-religious references with a capitalist and futuristic twist. But if you saw the cover art you already knew that. Therefore, if you saw the cover art and pressed play, you will not be disappointed.

Watch Out: A Boy and His Dog [1975]

Starring a young Don Johnson and a  shaggy dog, A Boy and His Dog opens on an average day after the end of the world. The boy, Vic, and his dog, Blood, are trying to survive and, if possible, thrive. Always at the top of the list are food, sex, and entertainment.
A Boy and His Dog is one of my favorite movies with its cheeky mix of post-apocalyptic wasteland violence and 70’s… not to mention a “talking” dog. It’s not clear if the dog is actually talking, telepathically communicating with the boy, or if the boy is just imagining it. I’m pretty sure the dog is telepathic and chooses to only speak to the boy.


 

In the post-apocalyptic future of 2024, Vic and his telepathic dog, Blood, roam the wastelands hunting for food, water and females. When Vic is lured underground by a young girl, he finds himself separated from Blood and trapped in the anachronistic society of Topeka. The Leader tells Vic he is going to be the father of a new generation, but Vic soon learns instead of hooking him up with women, the Topekans are planning to hook him up to a machine. Meanwhile Blood is above ground waiting for his human partner to return and save him from dying.

If you’re not about old movies, you can also read the book that A Boy and His Dog is based on by author Harlan Ellison, Vic and Blood.

The cycle begins with “Eggsucker,” which chronicles the early years of the association between fourteen‑year‑old loner Vic and his brilliant, telepathic dog. The saga continues and expands in “A Boy and His Dog,” in which Blood shows just how much smarter he is than Vic, and Vic shows how loyal he can be. The story continues in “Run, Spot, Run,” the first part of Ellison’s promised novel of the cycle, Blood’s a Rover. Here Vic and Blood find surprising new ways to get into trouble—but getting out of it may be beyond even their combined talents.