Back in the early 70’s, when I was incredibly young (proving that, fuck you, I’m not that old) the Batman TV show had been canceled for quite a while already but it was still going strong in syndication (what we used to just call reruns), and it is very definitely one of those things from that era that is partially responsible for me being the geek I am today. Looking at Adam West with adult eyes…actually, I don’t even want to address that. But back then, he was a god. He was Batman. And like a lot of other geek tadpoles, I wanted to be Batman more than anything. And when Halloween rolled around, I got to be Batman for a few hours by dressing up in an awesome Halloween costume that must have cost less than a pack of smokes.
You can click on all three of these images for larger ones if you’d like. Anyway, looking at that kid pictured below (that’s not me…there’s a picture of me looking a lot like that but fucked if I know where it is…), dressed in full crime-fighting regalia, there are a couple thoughts that might enter your head. The first one might be, “Oh hey. Little kid dressed as Batman. Huh.” And the second one might be, “That doesn’t look one fucking bit like Batman…not even the sunken-chest, alcoholic Batman.” Both would be correct, for the record.
And that’s exactly what Babylon A.D. is: A little kid in a Batman costume that doesn’t look a fucking thing like Batman. Except, instead of a little kid aspiring to be a super hero, it’s a so-so movie aspiring to be a better movie called Bladerunner. And just like the little kid…actually fuck the metaphor, it isn’t very good, but the point is you look at the movie and you clearly see Bladerunner.
Except, oh my God, it really isn’t Bladerunner.
This is exactly what happens when a studio takes a decent – or even great – idea and then doesn’t follow through with it. If you want to make a movie like Bladerunner, you can’t just half-ass it once you’ve (kinda, sorta) got the look down. You still have to have the excellent storytelling (writing, camera work, editing…the whole bit) and acting or all you’ll wind up with is a very attractive piece of crap. Which, of course…
This movie should have been great.
Turns out this movie was, more or less, fucked from the beginning. In reply to this post, @hoodwinkedfool sent me this story which, amazingly, is titled Babylon A.D. Director Hates His Own Film. Give it a read, it’s interesting.