I wanted to scrape my eyes out after seeing Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, it’s that bad. No wonder why the director went only by the name “Kaos” in the credits. But chaos doesn’t even begin to describe the nature of this abomination.
Agent Ecks (Antonio Banderas) is a washed up FBI agent , retired from the force after the apparent (shh, she’s still alive ) death of his wife Vinn (Talisa Soto). But his services are still needed, and he is called back into service. Why, exactly? I still don’t know. He was offered important information from his boss in exchange for his cooperation, so I guess he is the only man for the job. I do know however, where the international location for washed up cops is located, at the filthy cramped bar where all of the “I lost all faith in life” badges go to smoke and drink themselves stupid. His first name is either Jeremy or Jeremiah, we are never told why he is called by both names. Unlike Sever, Ecks is the guy’s real name. But I’m guessing the screenwriter didn’t know that, because at one point after everyone quickly learns how skillful the man is, a character asks, “So is that why they call you Ecks?”
Agent Sever (Lucy Liu) was adopted into a family that trained their young to do one thing and one thing only, kill. Oh no! Anyway, her beef is that her real family was tragically killed after a bomb exploded in her country home. We know this because she was watching archive footage on her laptop from the FBI website. I don’t know why she played the clip over and over again, but at least we know what happened to her family, and why she kills a whole lotta’ cops for fun.
Ballistic is about a microchip bug like thingy that can be implanted in someone’s body which causes massive seizures and hear attacks at the push of a button. I apologize for that cliché, but that is really how the device works. The bad guy in this movie, Gant (Gregg Henry) is an evil man who is also a billionaire and owns a beautiful home along the coastline. Sorry for that cliché too. In order to safely preserve the bug thingy, he keeps it conveniently tucked away in his son’s arm, how nice. He happens to be with Vinn, the woman Ecks was married to but believes is dead. Early on, we see their son under the protection of Gant’s henchmen. Fortunately he has a lot of them, because they make excellent target practice for Ecks and Sever. Sever takes them all out, and kidnaps the son. She kind of has a grudge against Gant; she used to work for him.
He’s an idiot who thinks he’s a genius. When told that he killed innocent people, he replied with an evil smile, “there are no such things as innocent people, only killers and victims.” I can just see writer Peter M. Lenkov waking up one night, jotting that ridiculous line on a piece of scrap paper thinking, brilliant!
In the first half, Ecks is trying to capture Sever, because only she knows where his wife is. There are a bunch of stunts, close combat action, and a lot of cars blow up. A mall is torn apart with virtually every weapon ever made, all used by Sever, and somehow it is the snipers who get shot up. She’s very good, able to walk in the open taking out anyone who looks at her funny. When Ecks finally catches up to Sever, they learn that they can only trust each other, and form an alliance. Together, they kill a lot of FBI agents, and in unnecessarily brutal fashion. Sometimes Sever uses a machine gun, other times she sends a rocket through a squad car.
After determining that she can trust Ecks, she gives him the address of where his wife is. So now knowing where the home of Gant is, he shows up at an aquarium, guess who he finds! They reunite, and a flashback scene tells us more of their past relationship, and to the point where Ecks sees the car bomb explode thinking his wife is inside the car. We see it, see it again, once more, just kidding-we keep seeing it. Kaos just loves cars that blow up.
So now Ecks is reunited with his wife, now they must meet Sever, who picks them up just in time before they get caught by Gant’s team of knuckleheads. As they get away in Sever’s SUV (in the last scene she owned a Mustang) they are pursued by at least five helicopters, and numerous squad cars. In the next frame, Ecks, wife and Sever, are driving under a beautiful Vancouver sunset, don’t ask where all the pursuers went. It’s not worth the agony trying to figure out the many plot holes.
There were two very annoying factors that made this movie awful. One was the abundance of cars that blew up or got railed by other cars. For no reason at all, we see a lot of cars explode. At first, it’s all fun. But all of the blasts and noises of glass shattering got very irritating, and very old fast. On top of that, the soundtrack is nothing but ridiculous techno music that only fits in some scenes. But whatever is going on at any time, there is digital electronic music to screaming voices in the background. It’s glitter on top of the fire and flying bullets, grenades, and FBI agents who can’t use a sniping rifle.
Ballistic got so ridiculous, I find it hard to believe that any serious attempt was made to make this a credible move. Ecks and Sever take their fair share of beatings, but in the end, both manage to walk way with a tiny scratch on their cheeks, nothing more. It’s ludicrous, but there’s more. In one scene, in order to get Eck’s profile, Sever had to hack into the FBI website. How does she do it when she doesn’t know the password? She enters “bypass_code” in the password line, and that allowed her unlimited access to the FBI.
Horrible is the only word that accurately describes Ballistic. It suffers greatly from “too much action syndrome” and gets boring quickly. By the end, there is no excitement when the land mines set off sending more and more thugs flying through the air. The dreadful music and the scene where a bunch of train cars blow up for no reason at all was laughable. The laughter only lasted so long before I became anxious for the movie to end.