Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002) [Review]

91 min September 20, 2002 | |

Plot: Jeremiah Ecks (Banderas) is a retired FBI agent. When ex-DIA agent Sever (Liu) kidnaps the son of ex-FBI agent Gant (Henry), the FBI calls in Ecks to find Sever, and recover nanotechnology that Gant has stolen. The lure: the FBI knows the whereabouts of Ecks’ wife, long thought dead.


After seeing Charlie’s Angels (2000), I knew Lucy Liu had it in her to be an action star. And, fondly recalling Desperado (1995), I knew Antonio Banderas could be an action star, too. With the two of them teaming up for Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever, I figured it had to be a sure thing. How wrong I was.

All of the characters in Ballistic were just going through the motions, with Antonio Banderas leading the way. He seemed to have forgotten his ability to act. Watching this film, after seeing Desperado (1995), it’s almost unbelievable it’s the same person. In Ballistic, he barely acts, and mostly just mumbles. In Desperado (1995), he’s amazing.

Lucy Liu, who has finally gotten a chance to step into the majors, picks an abysmal movie to continue in – one that allows her very little leeway in terms of actual acting. After the tongue-in-cheek style of Charlie’s Angels (2000), the blandness of this film is a complete letdown.

Ballistic has, as it’s background, one of the dumbest plots in recent movie history. It starts off with an interesting premise (a new science, nanotechnology, falling into the wrong hands), but falls apart almost from the beginning.

The filmmakers try to throw in a bunch of “surprise” twists and turns, but follow the basic pattern of action films to a tee, leaving you ample time and clues to guess all the twists long before they happen. If there is a blueprint for a cheesy action film, Ballistic follows it exactly. It’s pathetic, and not original enough for today’s market.

The special effects were all decent, but all of the stunts and effects in Ballistic are done just to blow stuff up, not to further the plot. The grand finale is totally wasted. The extreme ridiculousness of the situation belies any attempt at excitement, and all of the unnecessary plot twists have just turned the movie into a joke by the final climactic sequence.

All in all, Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever is just a basic action film, with no surprises you can’t see a mile away. Big explosions, little or no acting, and a convoluted plot that doesn’t involve the viewer at all. A basic waste of time.

If you want to see Antonio Banderas or Lucy Liu as action stars, don’t waste your time on this. Check out Desperado (1995) or Charlie’s Angels (2000), respectively, or else you’ll probably end up going Ballistic watching this horrid film.

    Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002) has a running time of 1 hr 31 mins and is rated for strong violence. Want to learn more? Visit and the IMDB Page .

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DVD Features

  • Widescreen
  • Animated Menus
  • Scene Access


An ex-Floridian, ex-Baltimorian now living in Arizona, Reid wants to get into a career that involves web-design, but for now enjoys working on critiQal in his spare time.

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