Veteran-turned-mercenary Toorop takes the high-risk job of escorting a woman from Russia to America. Little does he know that she is host to an organism that a cult wants to harvest in order to produce a genetically modified Messiah.
In a near future, the mercenary Toorop is hired by the powerful criminal Gorsky to take a woman named Aurora from a Noelite Convent in Central Asia to New York. In return, he will receive a large amount of money and a clear passport. Toorop joins Aurora and her guardian Sister Rebeka as they cross the dangerous Russian landscape chased by mercenaries that also want Aurora. On their journey, Toorop discovers that Aurora has special abilities and once in New York, they see on the news that the Noelite Convent has just been bombed. When Aurora discloses that she is a virgin and pregnant with twins, Toorop realizes that there is something sinister behind his mission and that he and Sister Rebeka are not part of Gorsky's plans.Written by
According to Mathieu Kassovitz, Vin Diesel was astounded at how much the film had been shortened. Having just completed production of Fast & Furious (2009), he had not seen a cut of the film in six months. He joked, "Am I even in the movie any more, or am I on the cutting room floor?" See more »
Toorop drives through the border town, and the kids start throwing rocks. Once all the kids stop, you can clearly see one of the 'rocks' bounce a few times, because the rocks are rubber. See more »
Save the planet. Whenever I've read that bumper sticker I've had to laugh. Save the planet. What for? And for what, ourselves? What about God, can He help us? I don't think so. God gave us what we have to see how we use it. Shit, rats in a cage would have done it better. Life's a bitch and then you die - bumper sticker philosophy. Yeah, right. Sometimes, you get a second chance.
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Some of the main differences between the 20th Century Fox aka theatrical version and Studio Canal aka unrated version are as follows:
The opening sequence monologue of Toorop is different. The narration in the unrated version matches the cyberpunk tone of the movie and denounces God.
The unrated version follows with a sequence of Toorop waking up in his flat and having breakfast before he sets out to the rainy street, which is where the theatrical version starts.
On the train to Vladivostok the unrated version includes a scene of an encounter with a herdsman's family from whom Toorop tries to buy-off their seats.
In the Vladivostok club all the sequences of Aurora's encounters with the fighter are edited differently. The unrated edition employs more close-ups to establish the connection between them, whereas the theatrical version uses mainly wide shots.
The fight between Toorop and the fighter is also edited differently. The unrated version has more shots of Toorop hitting the fighter to fit better with his not so much of a clear-cut hero image.
The snowmobile chase is different in the two versions. The theatrical version features more spectacular stunt shots and shows Toorop more as an unbeatable action hero.
Before the sequence in the tent where they all enjoy the food, the unrated version features a shot of Toorop shooting a cute rabbit. The theatrical version does not explain where they got the meat.
The unrated version follows the shower scene in the Canadian motel with the scene of the High Priestess undergoing plastic surgery which was included in the theatrical version at the beginning after the group left the monastery (in the unrated version after this scene follows a montage of wide shots of the car cruising the landscape). The unrated edition omits the whole sequence on the Canadian airport.
The sequence of Toorop's memory scanning in the unrated version is much longer, revealing his whole past and his terrorist activities, including 9/11. After the scanning the unrated version includes a dialogue scene with Toorop and Darquandier elaborating on Aurora's babies and the next step of mankind's evolution. The scene concludes with Darquandier's troops informing them about the short arrival of the High Priestess (this part is included in the theatrical version after the death of Gorsky).
The unrated version omits the climatic action sequence with the Hummer chase and also the kitschy happy ending with Toorop and the two babies. The unrated version ends with Toorop's narration after his reunion with Aurora and than follows with a much longer scene in the hospital. This ending is true to the spirit of cyberpunk.
Also many tracking shots in the film are significantly longer in the unrated edition, making it more focused on the society and the world of the future in comparison to the action-oriented theatrical version.
It was decent. The action sequences were definitely a bit choppy, especially the first one. Also, there were a few times when I had to go "Is that even physically possible?" and the ending left a few loose ends still left, so I was sort of disappointed with that.
If you don't pay attention, you will hate this movie. It moves fairly quickly, so once you miss something, it's gone and you will be lost. So pay attention. The story is actually pretty good and actually feels down to earth, which is more than I can say about quite a few sci-fi movies.
For the record, I went into this movie not expecting much more than average, and I was slightly surprised. If you go in expecting the next academy award winner, you will completely despise it. It is no Dark Knight, so don't expect it to be. There's not much there artistically, so, if you don't like a movie simply trying to be entertaining for the sake of being entertaining, then you won't like this one. All in all, it was a good watch, not entirely worth the price for a new movie, so I suggest waiting until it comes to the cheaper theaters (if you have one near by).
As another note (and I'll probably get some heat for this) I actually enjoy Vin Diesel as an actor. This is not his best performance, but it's certainly not his worst (even though I still moderately enjoyed Chronicles of Riddick, I admit it was pretty bad and to this day I still don't know why I like it.) I think Diesel is good at what he does, although he really hasn't been in anything that really blows me away, even my favorite Diesel film (Pitch Black) wasn't completely stunning, but it was really good. With that in mind, this is a Vin Diesel movie, so, if you're not like me and you don't like Diesel, you will not like this movie and should just steer clear of it.
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