Performers looking to break into the mega millions of Hollywood must first brace themselves for cataclysmic horror shows they hope audiences will forget. To remember Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever is a bold and challenging task to take on, for nobody involved in this action nonsense from the early 2000s would want it to be remembered. Surely, Antonio Banderas and Lucy Liu would be far happier if this disaster from director Wych Kaosayananda was scratched off of their portfolio. Too bad, though, as for those that suffered through Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever, they’ll quite rightly remember how dreary, strange and monotonous a time it was.
Overusing slow motion for moments of banal, vague action brings about such an accidental charm. Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever isn’t meant to come across as a tongue-in-cheek action riff, Kaosayananda directs this with gritty intentions. As endearingly messy as this may be, it is still, at its core, messy. There’s no sense of structure or narrative progression. We make leaps and bounds through uneventful storylines not because it makes sense, but because that is what Alan B. McElroy has written. Dare we challenge the final draft of McElroy? No, we mustn’t. He wrote the frequent slow-motion shots and agonizingly slow gunfights in with reason, and that reason seems to be torturing audiences.
What could have saved Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever (aside from a massive rewrite), would have been the utilisation of solid action. There are action films out there with such poor plotlines that can be saved almost entirely by a couple explosions. Kaosayananda’s reliance on just a small handful of overworked tropes is a detriment that sees Banderas and Liu battle it out in horribly choreographed, quick-cut fight scenes littered with a dense, deafeningly poor soundtrack and just the right amount of horrid dialogue. All of it blurs together into a relatively clustered waste of time. It sets out to entertain but can’t do that unless you’re sat with others to mock this nonsensical garbage.
Horribly corny, but pumped full of that awkward energy found in the dawning days of 21st century action films, Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever is tragic. A horribly dire film that flounders around with such an intense lack of story or care for both its characters and its crew. Try and keep up with the story, any attempt to do so will be met with futile frustration. Attempting to claw anything out of this disaster is impossible, considering how loose and bizarre the choices made throughout are. No redeeming qualities feature throughout this one, making competent actors appear useless as they stagger their way through an absolute mockery of the action genre.