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Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever

video review out of 4 Movie Review: Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever

Starring: Lucy Liu, Antonio Banderas
Director: Wych Kaosayananda
Rated: R
RunTime: 87 Minutes
Release Date: September 2002
Genres: Action, Suspense

*Also starring: Ray Park, Talisa Soto, Aidan Drummond, Gregg Henry, Miguel Sandoval

Review by Susan Granger
0 stars out of 4

Pow! Bang! Boom! I went to see this high-volume, ferociously explosive movie so you don't have to. It's dreadful! You can stop reading here or continue for the full explanation.

Wearing an unattractive three-day stubble, Antonio Banderas ("Spy Kids") plays a grizzled, guilt-ridden former F.B.I. agent Jeremiah Ecks who resigned from detective work after his wife was killed by a car bomb. Or was she? Ecks is ready to rock again when mentor (Miguel Sandoval) intimates that his wife may still be alive. It seems that a lethal, super-assassin with the code name Sever - that's Lucy Liu ("Charlie's Angels") - has turned against her billionaire boss (Gregg Henry) and his undercover operation known as the D.I.A. (Defense Intelligence Agency). She's after an ingenious, new, microscopic and injectible techno virus which lies dormant inside its victim until activated - and then kills in an instant, leaving no trace. Plus there's a kidnapped child who must be saved - and all of this incomprehensible intrigue takes place in Canada's Vancouver.

Thai director Wych Kaosayananda, who refers to himself as Kaos (as in confusion), confines his attention to the hand-to-hand combat and stunts. I doubt that the plot was even relevant to him because the action has little coherence, and he obviously spent little time directing either Banderas or Liu who have never given more inept performances. The only amusing line writer Alan McElroy devises occurs when Ecks is stunned by Sever's formidable cache of weapons. "Some women buy shoes," Sever explains. Funny? Not really - but at that point I was struggling to stay awake. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Ecks vs. Sever" is an overblown, stupefyingly boring 1. Fortunately, it's considerably less than two hours long.

Copyright 2002 Susan Granger

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