Prayer Focus
Movie Review

Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever

MPAA Rating: R for strong violence

Reviewed by: Matthew O. Love

Better than Average
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Action / Adventure
1 hr. 31 min.
Year of Release:
Copyright, Warner Bros. click photos to ENLARGE Antonio Banderas in 'Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever' Lucy Liu and Antonio Banderas in 'Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever'

Starring: Antonio Banderas, Lucy Liu, Ray Park, Terry Chen, Aidan Drummond | Directed by: Wych “Kaos” Kaosayananda | Produced by: Chris Lee, Elie Samaha, Andrew Stevens | Written by: Alan McElroy, Peter M. Lenkov, Alan B. McElroy | Distributor: Warner Brothers

“Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever” defines for me what an adult action movie should be. Most adult action movies that garner an R-rating tend to have frequent nudity, implied sex (if not actual sex), and vulgarity in nearly every scene. But happily this feature took the road less traveled.

The movie starts out with a mother having her child abducted by Agent Sever (Lucy Liu), who manages to blow up a few cars, shoot many other agents, and kick and punch the rest in her effort. Usher in Agent Ecks (Antonio Banderas) who, while wallowing in his drink at a empty bar is asked to find the child. Ecks refuses, but is blackmailed into helping with news that his long deceased wife (victim of a car bomb) is actually still alive. In order to find his wife he needs to find the child. Thus begins the chase, the hunt, and the rest of the movie.

Through a few twists and turns we discover who the real villains of the movie are, what really happened to Agent Ecks’s wife, and why Agent Sever has abducted this child. The movie features wonderful action scenes full of well shot explosions, many guns, and while we see many people get shot and “blown up,” there is very little gore. The main characters are deep enough to care for without going into needless detail outside the parameters of the story.

From a biblical standpoint, I am happy with this movie. All summer I was awaiting an adult action movie I felt comfortable taking my 14 year old son to see. However, all the adult action movies out this summer contained at least one gratuitous sex scene that could have been easily left out. “Ballistic” delivered. Ecks throughout the entire movie is searching for his wife, who he has remained faithful to. While the movie does feature much violence, in the form of guns and grenades, it is all within the confines of the bad guy vs. good guy outline, with little or no innocent people being shot indiscriminately.

Bottom line warning: Don’t take younger teens to this movie if they don’t understand that in real life guns kill people, and leave a trail of sorrow behind. Also remember to talk to your teen about smoking, as the main character smokes frequently.

Viewer Comments
Negative—Please don’t waste your money! My wife and I did that for you. Pure violence, minimal plot (that must have diminished further on the cutting-room floor), and predictable. We got more enjoyment out of guessing who was going to get “it” next and how. The only redeeming value was trying to put a family back together. Go see Jonah!
My Ratings: [Average / 1½]
—Tim Emmerich, age 35
In one sentence, this movie really [stunk]. If all you want to see if cars blowing up, that’s all you’ll get. No story line, no acting, just cars blowing up.
My Ratings: [Average / 1]
—Scott, age 28
Neutral—The moral in Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever was somewhat intriguing but it is a very formulaic film and bad editing. Other than loyalty and family based theme, the action was cruel and makes no sense in choppy action sequence. This a major break through as a leading actor for Lucy Liu but Antonio could have better due to poor script and direction. Overall, good triumph over evil has always been a classic theme and if you like that—enjoy, but would strongly recommend to wait for the rental.
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 1½]
—Mang Yang, age 30
Negative—About half an hour into the film it hits the rock bottom and then starts digging. If there ever should be a definition of a lousy movie—this film is the top contender. Boring and utterly slow, it makes watching the grass grow a more interesting pursuit. Absolutely pathetic plot, lifeless characters, and not even a hint of realism (wouldn’t want THAT in a movie, would we?). It’s all about blowing stuff up. From the opening scene to the closing scene 90% of the movie concerns itself with exploding cars and endless shootings. I am not exaggerating, the number of lines that the main heroine says in this film is about half the number of cars she blows up along the way. Well, excuse me for being picky, but I want a little more out of a movie than a non-stop series of exploding car and people being shot. I am amazed that the main reviewer gave this film four stars. Even one star is too much for this piece of junk. Yeah, there’s no language or sex. So what? There’s no plot either. Does it make it better? The only reason I marked it extremely offensive is because it’s an offense to my intelligence.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 1]
—Igor, age 24
…purely a formula-R film. It contains just enough violence to cross the PG-13 line. I would compare most of the action to the movie “The Matrix.” …an extremely boring thriller. The movie completely lacks an engaging story or interesting characters. The plot is exceptionally paper thin and would insult even the dullest of imaginations. On a positive note, there is almost no language or sex in the film. …This is a fairly safe film for a father and teenage son outing. I would definitely wait for it to hit the second run theater. I normally do not make it a practice to endorse R-rated movies, but I do know there are those like myself that enjoy stunts, action and octane once in a while. However, I will let you know that this is the second film to open in the theaters in a comatose state. The first was “The Adventures of Pluto Nash.” Not one single national film critic liked either movie.
My Ratings: [Average / 2½]
—Douglas M. Downs
…6 scatological terms, 6 mild obscenities, 2 religious exclamations…