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Look out for more coverage of
Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever

THE STARS:
Antonia Banderas • Lucy Liu • Ray Park
DIRECTOR: Kaos

Lucy Liu, proving she has the balls for the job THE CONCEPT:
An ingenious assassination device has been created, and two individuals, both with personal reasons, are in a frantic race to obtain it. They are, an agent only known by her code name Sever (Lucy Liu), and former FBI agent Jeremiah Ecks (Antonio Banderas).

U.S. RELEASE: September 20 2002 • Rated: R

THE COMMENTS:

KAOS:
“ Sever is the ultimate warrior. In theory, she is unstoppable. But Ecks is completely relentless, a man who will not accept defeat. Every time they confront each other it’s impossible to predict who might gain the upper hand – or lose it – in the next instant.”

ANTONIO BANDERAS:
“When you create a character based upon action, it’s not just action as events unfolding in front of you. It’s more of a total personality, emanating from your whole body. It’s in the way your character moves and looks, the way he talks. This can be more telling than words.”

LUCY LIU on her minimal dialogue in the movie:
“I think when you’re doing action, unless you’re Indiana Jones, the less exposition you have, the better. I think having less dialogue helps because it makes her seem even more intense as opposed to giving her all these lines and taking away the intensity she can bring to the audience.”

RAY PARK:
”I don’t see my character as a villain, not an obvious villain. He’s not out killing people, doing bad things; he’s just following orders from his boss. It was different from anything that I’ve done before. Playing an actual straight character without any make-up, like I did with Darth Maul in Star Wars.”

ANTONIO BANDERAS:
“Traditionally, action heroes have a strong interior life but they don’t impose it on the audience; they let the audience discover it. Kaos understands that Ecks has to be very understated in the way he reveals himself and I agree.”

KAOS:
“I thought it would add to the interesting dynamic between Ecks and Sever if Sever was a woman in a traditionally male profession.”

LUCY LIU:
“I liked the character because she was originally supposed to be a male. You can have a man against a woman and they can have a fight scene, and she’s not going to be whining and pulling his hair. For this movie it wasn’t about gender and emotion, it was about skills. In the fight with Ray Park, she’s not going to overpower him, the man is twice her size. But she’s going to use what she has, and if he’s going to say something to her that’s going to push her over the edge that finally gets her to get that final kick in, great! You don’t want her to seem like a machine. She’s not the Terminator. I was really glad they went with that.”

RAY PARK on doing the fight scenes with Lucy:
“I try to treat fight scenes with women the same. I remember the first movie I did with a female actor who did martial arts – she kicked the hell out of me. I was like, movies aren’t supposed to be like this. She was hurting me. You don’t want to hurt someone, anyone, male or female. Lucy was great, she’s tough.”

ANTONIO BANDERAS on doing many of his own stunts:
“I’m not crazy. I won’t jump if I know I’ll get hurt, but if there’s something I know I can do, I prefer to do it myself. That’s part of what I owe the audience as a professional. The more I can fully become the character and the more realistic I can make it, the better.”

LUCY LIU on Banderas’ accident while shooting an action sequence:
“Antonio got his face burned, it was pretty intense. I wasn’t there but one of the timings was a bit off during the railroad explosion sequence and he was actually right there. They were supposed to be exploding behind him. But you know, it’s okay for a guy to get half his face seared off, you go cool, but a woman, no!”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever site
Images above © Warner Bros
Feature © 2002 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #623, October 2002 cover

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