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  Directed by
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  Specs
  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
    English, English - Hearing Impaired
  Extras
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Featurette - Making of..
  • Production notes - Cast/Crew List

Ballistic - Ecks vs Sever

Warner Bros./Warner Home Video . R4 . COLOR . 87 mins . M15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever or Sever Ecks Balls as I call it, is a modern miracle of filmmaking. The miracle is how it ever got made at all.

Drug money must be the reason. Surely some Colombian drug lord financed this film hoping to get a slice of the Hollywood pie? The funny thing is, running drugs is probably a more legitimate business than filmmaking if this film is anything to go by.

The plot is, well, how best to put it? The plot... it's stupid and irrelevant, and it's just there so the actors have some lines to say like "Make sure you don't cancel the target!" and "She's been mourning her family long enough, let's reunite them."

Har har har, great stuff... morons.

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Well, you see doc, it kinda curves to the left, you know what I mean?

Banderas is Agent Ecks, called in the recover a stolen miniature weapon that could kill important people without detection. He has to go after Agent Sever (see how stupid this is starting to sound?) a highly trained female renegade agent who has kidnapped the son of a shadow government head. The boy has the weapon in his blood stream, and Ecks has to find Sever to find the boy to recover the weapon.

Hd emmumrgh gugga beee smert. Ecggs vs Heffer, andt mooooo...

Sorry, just writing out the plot made me temporarily stupid and I forgot how to speak English.

Poor Lucy Liu and Antonio Banderas. Neither are exactly A-list stars, and other than Charlie's Angels and Zorro, what good have they done recently?

Antonio Banderas looks like Melanie Griffith has been giving him a hard time. He utilises that well worn cliché of being clean-shaven when they flashback to his days in the FBI, to having a perpetual three day growth to show he's a burnt out husk living on the edge. Can't edgy people be clean shaven too? I'm a nice guy, but I go for days without having a shave. Does that make me a renegade agent on the edge who does things his own way? Actually, that sounds pretty cool. Ballistic II: Ecks vs. Sever vs. Vince I can be an ex-DVD reviewer driven to the edge by impossible deadlines, region 4 NTSC DVDs and reader complaints about my grammar. In one scene, when I'm nearly killed by a car bomb planted by a rival review site, I kick a dog really hard and its head comes right off.

Lucy Liu is a great looking woman, but an absolutely shit actor. Her part is basically a female indestructible terminator, but with even less emotion. She runs, she jumps, she shoots, she fights, she does it all. The whole time she has this blank look on her face, which I'm sure they believed looked like she was a cold nosed, hard arsed, well trained killer. I thought she looked constipated.

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Can someone please tell me what this thing is and why it's in this film?

Then there's Ray Park as a bad guy. Will someone please make sure he isn't given any more human roles? Mutant frogs, horned devil aliens, a killer sea urchin, anything but a human, please. The more human his character, the more lines he has, the worse his performance. He can fight, but he can't act.

But it doesn't do anyone any good to analyse Sever Ecks Balls too much. It's nothing more than an unashamed action vehicle geared towards 16 year old boys and older people who can't accept the fact that they work as an office clerk and drive a white 1989 Gemini. These people will have plenty of noisy fun, won't run the risk of learning anything and will possibly go deaf.

All the ingredients for the perfect film, they might say.

  Video
Contract

This is pretty damn good, really. A vertically challenged 2.35:1 with a sharp 16:9 enhanced transfer, it doesn't set a kung fu-foot-to-the-larynx wrong. It has that edgy and cold over-used action-style cool blue colouring that only risks looking natural or the slightest bit warm when they have a flashback to happier times. As for detail, well, there's certainly never been a movie that was more deserving of such plentiful and quality detail (yes, that was sarcasm). Many a thing blows up, a plethora of spent bullet casings fly from guns galore, much shopping centre masonry explodes in a hail of gunfire, cars go flying acrobatically through the air, and it all happens with a terrific crystal clarity that'll have you ripping your eyeballs out and hiding them in a cupboard for safe keeping. I even thought shrapnel was flying off the screen and hitting me in the face, until I realised my little boy was throwing his lunch at me.

Only running at 87 minutes, the film easily fits a single layer of a DVD, so of course there's no pesky layer pause, should these things bother you.

  Audio
Contract

I guess you want to hear that when the action ramps up so does the speaker activity? Yeah, what did you think was gonna happen? There's plenty of gunfire and explosions and things breaking and cars smashing and glass shattering and masonry crumbling and it all comes pouring out your speakers from all points.

There's a good amount of bass to support the destruction, but not nearly enough really clear higher frequencies. The biggest drawback is the far too loud and repetitive music which underlies al the action (and nearly everything else as well). This removes a layer of clarity from the proceedings and gets annoying fast.

If this film is your thing, then you won't mind anyway, and you'll have a blast yanking the volume dial way waaaay up and maybe going deaf in the name of braindead entertainment.

  Extras
Contract

This film played out in cinemas for about 40 minutes before being retired, so it's no surprise that the best this DVD has to offer is a 13 minute Featurette that is part trailer, part loving stroke-fest, part behind the scenes. Most interesting fact: Lucy Lui is really, really attractive.

There's also your typically deceptive trailer and a completely pointless cast/crew listing.

  Overall  
Contract

In hindsight, I find it strange that there wasn't a single naked woman anywhere in this film. Nudity is normally a standard part of stupid films such as this. For that alone, I'm taking off one point as a warning to other filmmakers that DVD reviewers (well, most male ones anyway) enjoy a bit of gratuitous female nudity with their action films. Ignore that, and suffer the consequences.


  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=2790
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      And I quote...
    "A really really stupid violent action film on a good looking and sounding DVD. There isn't any nudity though, which, considering it stars Lucy Liu, is a real shame."
    - Vince Carrozza
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Sony DVP-525
    • TV:
          Philips 55PP8620
    • Receiver:
          Sony STR-DB1070
    • Speakers:
          Wharfedale s500
    • Centre Speaker:
          Polk Audio CS245
    • Surrounds:
          Wharfedale WH-2
    • Subwoofer:
          DB Dynamics TITAN
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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