Sean goes Ballistic?

Hold onto your nanomachines, because Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever is probably not the Greatest Movie EVER!

Click on the movie poster or the title above to download our review of the film, featuring Sean ‘Hollywood’ Hunting.

Review in a Nutshell:  Wow, this movie is bad.  Not even Antonio Banderas smoking and Ray Park doing flip-kicks can save this production from lifeless action sequences and a catastrophically muddled script.


  1. David Barnes says:

    The thing I remember about this movie is something my brother pointed out: This movie had some of the least lethal explosions ever. Every time a group of guys got knocked down from one, it seemed like there was a scene of them all getting back to their feet.

  2. timeliebe says:

    I know we saw this movie, Paul – but for the life of me, I can’t remember a thing about it.

    Tammy says she remembers reading through most of it – and a movie with an ass-kicking woman would be right in her wheelhouse, normally!

    Looking forward to hearing your podcast to see if it jogs my memory…..

  3. I remember watching this film years ago on a whim, barely made it halfway through because it was just that dull. Oddly enough this film even got it’s own tie in game, a similarly reviled Game Boy Advance FPS. No joke.

  4. vichussmith says:

    Ooh, Ecks Vs. Sever? Like Stone Cold ET says: “Oh HELL yeah!”

  5. Ryan Drouillard says:

    I saw this movie when it first hit cable, all I could remember about it was the story not making sense and kinda liking the scene where Lucy Lui uses the two telescoping police batons.

    The baton scene probably sucked as Paul said, so maybe I just liked the concept. In any event, good martial arts movies need more duel wielding kali sticks

    I also recall this movie being way too influenced by the Matrix like every movie for the 10 years following the first Matrix. I’m glad we’re out of that dark age of action movies.

  6. vichussmith says:

    Antonio Banderas did indeed play the Nasonex bee.

    Anyway, what’s funny about the director of this is that he went away for a LONG time, and he’s just starting up directing again. I wonder where he was all these years. I imagine he was just sitting in a room, with his head in his hands.

    I want to get all up in Sean’s face about something: I love Ray Park. If it weren’t for him, Episode 1 would not be way less entertaining. However, do we need more foreigners taking up American roles? We need a good ol’ American-born white dude to play Iron Fist.

  7. timeliebe says:

    vichussmith – I thought Danny Rand-Kai was mixed-race, kind of like the late Brandon Lee.

    You know, Tammy and I wrote him into WHITE TIGER – along with Luke Cage, Black Widow and best of all, Spider-Man.

  8. vichussmith says:

    You wrote him in- who are you?

    I don’t go that deep with Danny Rand. The most I know of him is some of the Fraction/Aja run, and some appearances. I don’t know if it was retconned that he has an Asian background, but as far as I know, he’s a white dude.

    If that’s true, then Ray Park is super unsuited to play him. A badass martial arts actor, but I’m for giving people who fit the part the best to be sought for the role. If the directors decide that they’re going for whoever, then I just hope they give a good performance. I think our dearly departed MKD was a good Kingpin, even though he fit the suit, but not the racial background.

  9. I’m the other half of the writing team of Tamora Pierce and Timothy Liebe, who wrote WHITE TIGER: A HERO’S COMPULSION for Marvel Comics, vichussmith.

    To be honest, they’re never entirely clear on Danny’s heritage – he’s been mixed-race but mainly drawn White, he’s been White and adopted into a clan in K’un L’un, he’s been White and took lessons, and so on. So Ray Park probably could play him, depending on how the screenplay chooses to portray his character.

    I had no problem w/Michael Clark Duncan (May He Rest in Peace) racially as Kingpin – OTOH, I liked him too much for him to be the brutal, manipulative villain of DAREDEVIL and SPIDER-MAN. I appreciate his desire to stretch, but the DD movie was not the place to do it in given how badly it was written….

  10. timeliebe says:

    Speaking of “that Bollywood Scene”, Paul and Sean – do you mean “Tha Kar Ke” from GOLMAAL RETURNS? It’s meant to be a lampoon of absurdly explosive Hollywood action movie setpieces – and manages to be even more OTT than anything Michael Bay’s ever done!

    The GOLMAAL series is India’s version of ZAZ movie parodies, and are very popular in Central Asia. While a lot of the references are masala-specific, there’s a lot of humor attached to the Western movies that are popular in India as well.

  11. gooberzilla says:

    No, actually, I was referring to this scene. I still don’t know what movie it is from:

  12. timeliebe says:

    Wow, Paul! Now I have to seek that movie out – whatever it is.

  13. timeliebe says:

    Paul, here’s a more complete version of that scene, which is even more insanely action-packed, if that’s possible!

    I think it’s a “Tollywood” (Tamil) movie starring Rajinikanth, who also starred in the Central Asian SF hit ENTHIRAN (“The Robot”). Am trying to find out the title, because that scene is bat-crap crazy – which means I must see it!

  14. vichussmith says:

    GREAT use of budget! 🙂

    The film is called “Alluda Mazaaka.” The internet is truly awesome.

  15. gooberzilla says:

    Yeah, I’ve seen the entire, extended clip before. The one I posted was just the first results I could find by typing “man drifts horse” into Youtube.

  16. timeliebe says:

    Yes, it is, isn’t it, vichussmith? Looks like I got a few things wrong then – the lead’s not Rajinikanth, it’s Chiranjeevi; and the film’s Telegu, not Tamil.

    Thank you – all I could find was “Chuck Norris Indiano”, which I was pretty sure wasn’t the film’s name, or the lead actor’s.

    OTOH, I still can’t find out what the alleged plot to this movie is, or why our hero’s suddenly being chased by an army of incompetent cops.

  17. vichussmith says:

    In my experience, armies incompetent cops chase the hero because they are under the false assumption that he is guilty of something.

  18. timeliebe says:

    Yeah, absolutely, vichussmith – I’m just wondering if that’s the premise, or just an awesome scene shoved into the middle of something else, kind of like the Bollywood hit song of the Seventies “My Name Is Anthony Gonsalvez” from AMAR AKBAR ANTHONY.

  19. vichussmith says:

    So you’re thinking it’s just a ruse to get you to watch yet another Bollywood musical? 🙂

  20. timeliebe says:

    Jeez, vichussmith – we’ve only seen well over a hundred of them by now! A few years back, Tammy’s and I’s friend Bruce Coville (yeah, the guy who wrote the MY TEACHER IS AN ALIEN books) expressed some curiosity about “Bollywood movies”, having seen SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE and kind of liked it. Since we’d been going to hang out at his house on Sunday nights, we started renting a couple – and got hooked on the weird mash-up of comedy, romance, adventure, tragedy and big musical numbers, as well as the differences (and similarities) between their culture and ours.

    It’s a strange thing for fans of the kinds of movies Paul considers “The Greatest Movie Ever” to enjoy. The Indian film industries are all far more culturally conservative than their Western counterparts, so you can forget nudity, sex scenes, or graphic violence (even kissing on the lips is considered “indecent” by their standards – hence the “almost-kiss” parodied by The Guild’s “Game On” music video). By contrast, a lot of desi film fans consider most U.S. network television to be on/beyond the fringe when it comes to sex and violence – I once got into a disagreement with a fan who considers CASTLE(!) too be “too violent and filthy”. (Yeah – that ABC-TV show your Mom probably watches, starring Nathan Fillion as a goofy mystery writer in love with an uptight but hot woman cop.) To make up for it, they often stage incredible action scenes and song&dance numbers – like the ones Paul and I both posted links to.

  21. vichussmith says:

    I think Bollywood is something that Paul hasn’t tapped into yet (I haven’t listened since the beginning, so I’m guessing). Maybe he should review the movie a few years back, the one with the android. The name slips my mind, but sci-fi geeks were buzzing about it when the trailer came out.

  22. timeliebe says:

    That’s ENTHIRAN, also known as THE ROBOT, Vichussmith. It stars Rajinikanth and Aishwarya Rai (literally The Most Beautiful Woman in the World, and a major star in India – over here she’s best known for BRIDE AND PREJUDICE and RETURN OF THE PINK PANTHER!). The movie was a big enough hit

    I think Paul’s hesitant because it’s kind of hard to get in the US, or at least to get the original version (there are a bunch of different versions in different Central Asian languages, and many of them seem to be cut). It’s also long – like almost three hours long, which might make him wonder if he really wants to see it. OTOH, the F/x work is great, which might make it worth the effort….

  23. vichussmith says:

    Yeah, it’s on DVD, but not Instant, on Netflix. Netflix Instant just needs to give me EVERYTHING already!

    Maybe he wants to get a copy with DVD extras. I know the podcast loves background, commentary, trivia and whatnot.

  24. gooberzilla says:

    I haven’t gotten into covering Bollywood films because – ever since I canceled the DVD portion of my Netflix subscription – my exposure to them has been minuscule. Prior to that, I saw Gumnaam and Lagaan and that’s about it.

  25. timeliebe says:

    LAGAAN is a classic – a bit political (heroic Indians playing cricket against nasty snide Brits), but still very good. Maybe a bit more high-brow than TGME Podcast crowd would enjoy, though.

    GUMNAAM goes back a ways – how was that, Paul?

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