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"BALLISTIC: ECKS VS. SEVER"
(2002) (Antonio Banderas, Lucy Liu) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Moderate Extreme *Moderate Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate Minor Heavy *None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Minor Mild Moderate Moderate Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Action/Adventure: Motivated by their own agendas, two former covert government operatives team up to find and stop another former agent before he unleashes his deadly scheme.
PLOT:
Jeremiah Ecks (ANTONIO BANDERAS) is a former covert FBI agent who's lured back into duty by Julio Martin (MIGUEL SANDOVAL). Martin has information about Ecks' wife, Vinn, who was believed to have been killed in a car explosion seven years ago, but won't tell the sullen agent any details until Ecks agrees to investigate Robert Gant (GREGG HENRY).

It seems that the shady character has acquired a microscopic killing device that, when injected into its victim, can kill them and make the assassination look like a normal heart attack. Worried that Gant's attempting to get the device into the country or has already managed to do so, Julio teams Ecks with Harry Lee (TERRY CHEN) and the two attempt to find him. Ecks' desire to do so grows when he learns that Gant knows about his wife.

Their task is a bit easier since Gant and his right-hand man, A.J. Ross (RAY PARK) are out trying to find Gant's kidnapped son, Michael (AIDAN DRUMMOND), as well as his abductor, another former covert operative known by the name of Sever (LUCY LIU).

She has a serious bone to pick with Gant and will only exchange Michael for Gant's life. A proficient and highly trained killer, Sever has the upper hand in the situation and quickly proves her formidableness in easily dispatching Gant's men. Complicating matters is Gant's estranged wife, Rayne (TALISA SOTO), who isn't happy with her husband and is naturally worried about Michael.

As the two covert operatives attempt to find and stop Gant, their paths repeatedly cross and antagonistic sparks fly between them. Yet, they eventually realize they have a common goal and thus set out to work together to fulfill their respective missions.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into action flicks or are fans of someone in the cast, they might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For strong violence.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • ANTONIO BANDERAS plays a former covert FBI agent who hasn't been the same since his wife was killed many years ago. Yet, when he discovers that she may be alive, he sets out to find and stop a villain who knows about her. Along the way, he smokes, drinks and fights with and kills various people working for the villain.
  • LUCY LIU plays an emotionless covert operative who's highly trained and proficient in getting her way. She kidnaps Gant's son in an effort to get to him and fights with and kills various people along the way.
  • GREGG HENRY plays a villain who's attempting to smuggle a microscopic killing device into the country with little concern for his wife or kidnapped child. He orders for various people to be killed.
  • RAY PARK plays his right-hand man who follows his orders and attempts to kill various people.
  • TALISA SOTO plays Gant's unhappy and upset wife who's really Ecks' wife that everyone believed to be dead.
  • MIGUEL SANDOVAL plays a senior FBI agent who brings Ecks back into the fold by essentially blackmailing him with the tease of information about his wife.
  • TERRY CHEN plays another agent teamed with Ecks.
  • AIDAN DRUMMOND plays the kidnapped boy who spends most of the film locked in a comfortably equipped, large cage.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated action/adventure film. Violence is listed as extreme due to many people being killed (by gunfire, explosions or hand to hand combat) as well as several martial arts fights where many punishing kicks, punches and blows are delivered to opponents.

    Surprisingly, most of the violence is blood-free (although a few people occasionally have some blood on them), but it's possible viewers with low tolerance levels for such mayhem might find such scenes as suspenseful or disturbing. The latter could also be said about a child abduction (in today's climate), but it's done by the heroine and ends up helping the boy.

    Profanity consists of at least 4 "s" words and just a handful of other expletives and colorful phrases. All of the villains have bad attitudes, while various characters drink and/or smoke. A miscellaneous couple is briefly seen apparently ready to fool around in an alley, but they're interrupted before anything else happens.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Ecks drinks in a bar.
  • After spotting Ecks popping various pills (of unknown variety), Harry asks if that's why they call him "X" (presumably referring to ecstasy). Ecks says that he's on a diet.
  • Gant has a drink.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We briefly see a bloody bullet hole wound in a man's head as he's shot.
  • Ecks has some blood on his head.
  • Ecks has some blood on his ear and down the side of his face in a flashback.
  • Sever has a thin bloody cut on her cheek.
  • Ecks has a few bloody cuts on his head.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Gant, Ross and their various minions all have bad attitudes for their actions and intentions.
  • Some could view Sever's kidnapping of Michael as having a bad attitude, but she's doing it in an effort to stop Gant's plan and to get revenge on him (and the boy benefits from her actions).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • The abduction of a boy by Sever (she takes out his bodyguards, but doesn't harm him) might be unsettling for some viewers in light of recent, real-life abductions.
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" could be unsettling or suspenseful to those with low tolerance levels for action-based mayhem, but few will probably find any of the scenes that way.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Various Machine guns/Shotguns/Handguns/Various explosives/Grenade launchers/Knife: Used to threaten, wound or kill people and/or cause property damage. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Oh sh*t," "You bastard," "Pissed off," "Bloody" (adjective), "What the hell /are you talking about/does she want with him?" "Bitch," "Is that the bitch who stole our son?" (Followed by, "By the way, I'm the bitch protecting him") and "You sick son of a bitch."
  • All of the martial arts fighting and gunplay (all of which are made to look cool) might be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • Harry has some tattoos on his arms.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A car suddenly explodes.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of action-oriented and some suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None that we heard, but several songs had lyrics that could not be understood, thus offering the possibility of potentially objectionable material in them.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 4 "s" words, 2 hells, 1 S.O.B., 3 uses of "Oh God" and 2 of "Jesus" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see a miscellaneous man and woman in an alley with the man saying, "C'mon baby." When she looks willing, he says, "Yeah," but they're interrupted before anything else happens.
  • Vinn shows a little cleavage in a flashback.
  • SMOKING
  • Ecks smokes several times, Julio gets ready to light up with him, and a miscellaneous person smokes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Vinn and Robert obviously don't have a happy marriage and she becomes more upset when their son is abducted and then missing.
  • Ecks hears from Julio that Vinn, his wife, is still alive (Ecks thought she perished in a car explosion).
  • Ecks and Vinn are reunited after 7 years of thinking the other had been killed.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Revenge.
  • Children being abducted.
  • Covert government operations and operatives.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A car suddenly explodes as vehicles carrying bodyguards -- who are escorting Michael -- pass by. A large truck then smashes into a stopped car and knocks it aside. The various bodyguards then get out with their weapons drawn and one fires his machine gun. Sever then shows up and delivers many kicks and punches to the faces and bodies of the various bodyguards - rather brutally and it sounds like she breaks one's neck --until all are killed or knocked unconscious. We later see surveillance footage of her delivering some blows to them.
  • One of Julio's henchmen (of two) tries to get physical with Ecks who then responds by flipping one onto a bar counter and then grabbing the other (with gun in hand) and inflicting pain while grabbing him by the neck.
  • We see a flashback to a car exploding (seen several times).
  • Upset with a bodyguard for letting Michael be abducted, Gant orders the bodyguard to take a gun, place it to his own head and pull the trigger. The man nearly does, but then aims the gun at Gant. Just as he does, however, he's shot dead.
  • Sever apparently breaks an agent's arm and punches him in the face. She then pulls his gun and hits him on the head with it. She then takes his machine gun and fires it into the air to make everyone scramble for cover. Gant's agents then fire at her and she fires back, taking out two of them (but we don't know if they're dead or just wounded). Police arrive and some cars crash into each other. Police and agents then fire at her and she fires back and apparently hits some of them as she goes through various weapons. She then fires a grenade launcher that causes an explosion that knocks an agent from the roof where we then follow him down from his perch to the street below where he lands on a car's roof (and is apparently killed). A tire is blown off that car and hits another person, and she fires another grenade into another car, causing it to explode.
  • Sever then pulls some sort of sticks and uses them to hit various agents many times until all are knocked out. She then grabs control of a huge machine gun and opens fire on many vehicles, buildings and people. An explosion knocks various people to the ground and more explosions follow that one.
  • Sever shoots and wounds a man.
  • Sever hits and then knees a man in the face while fleeing from Ecks. She then nearly hits Ecks while backing up a car that seems to tear through a garage door. She drives into Ecks, causing him to flip over her car, and then tosses an explosive beneath a vehicle near Ecks. He shoots out her tires, causing her vehicle to crash into a parked vehicle and then flip over (the spilled gasoline then briefly catches Ecks' leg on fire).
  • Ecks holds his gun on Sever, but Harry distracts them and Sever shoots him in the chest, knocking him to the floor (his bulletproof vest saves him). Ecks then fires a shot that blows out part of a handrail and causes Sever to stop. The two then struggle and then deliver various blows to each other. Gant's men then open fire in their general direction with machine guns, causing Ecks and Sever to flee.
  • We see flashback surveillance footage of a building in the woods being destroyed (where at least 1 baby was apparently killed - but none of that's seen).
  • Cops kick open a door and hold guns on Ecks.
  • Sever opens fire twice on a police bus with a grenade launcher. The resultant two explosions damage and send the bus out of control (it runs into an adjacent car) and then onto its side. While it slides down the road, Ecks gets on top and fires at Sever, but misses. The bus slams into more vehicles.
  • As Ecks chases Sever on a motorcycle, various cars crash into each other and Sever fires a grenade that blows up a truck (and flips it over - the people inside are presumably killed). She then fires another shot that blows up a stack of cars and Ecks then runs into a stopped vehicle and flips over it. Two cars also fly over the car and crash to the street. Sever then holds a gun to Ecks' chin, but then gives it to him.
  • We see two cars explode (via remote control) in a flashback.
  • Gant's men fire explosives at Sever who jumps out of the way as huge fireballs come behind her. They blow up more railroad cars and structures, and Sever and Ecks then set off their own explosions that blow up various things.
  • Ecks shoots some barrels that create a huge explosion and fireball that destroys property and knocks people down.
  • Ecks fires a shotgun at some bad guys who shoot machine guns back at him. He then shoots several people (but we don't know if they're killed).
  • Ecks and Sever shoot past each other to kill various bad guys behind the others. Ecks then shoots more people with a machine gun (no blood).
  • Sever fires on Ross and others but doesn't hit them. They open fire on her, but miss.
  • Massive explosions presumably kill several men (no blood or gore).
  • Ecks sets off a series of explosions that destroy property, presumably kill various people and cause many large pipes to roll down onto him. A man then comes up to make sure he's dead, but Ecks then shoots that man dead with a machine gun.
  • A large explosion blows open the door into Sever's lair. She then shoots several men who enter, and then shoots an electric cable that falls into a small body of water and electrocutes two other men (nothing graphic).
  • Sever and Ross get into a martial arts battle where he tries to get her with a knife and she tries to hit him with a chain when not otherwise delivering many brutal punches and kicks to the other. He then gets the chain and tries to hit her with it.
  • Sever breaks a man's neck.
  • Gant throws an explosive that causes a large explosion.
  • Sever shoots a man in the arm to make him drop his gun.
  • Sever uses a device (inside a body) to cause a man to have a fatal heart attack.



  • Reviewed September 18, 2002 / Posted September 20, 2002

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