Ballistic: Ecks Vs Sever is one of the lowest rated action films of all time and an early version nearly saw Sylvester Stallone fight Vin Diesel.
Ballistics: Ecks Vs Sever almost saw Sylvester Stallone fight Vin Diesel. Ballistics: Ecks Vs Sever carries the unenviable title of the lowest-rated film of all time on Rotten Tomatoes. This 2002 action movie battled the titular agents, with Ecks played by Antonio Bandaras and Sever by Lucy Liu. Ecks Vs Sever aimed for a John Woo-inspired action blockbuster, but it was cluttered with a weak story, weightless action scenes, and lifeless performances.
Ballistics: Ecks Vs Sever also spent many years in development and was written by wrong turn franchise creator Alan B. McElroy in the late 80s. The scribe’s original story was called Legion and was set to play Dolph Lundgren as an ex-cop chasing the title character, a rogue CIA agent on the way to killing spree. Legion was ultimately not made, but about a decade later the project was revived. Before Bandaras and Liu were cast, the film had to first pit Jet Li against Wesley Snipes.
Director Wych Kaosayananda (AKA Kaos) also felt the film would be perfect for The killer starring Chow Yun-fat and Jean Reno from Leoneven though the studio didn’t think they were big enough to sell Ballistics: Ecks Vs Sever. Another iteration would have paired Sylvester Stallone against Vin Diesel, which found both actors at interesting points in their careers. Stallone had walked away from action films for a few years by this point and presented his only real horror movie. D-Tox, which quickly bombarded. Diesel’s career was only beginning to take off following the success of field black and The fast and the furiousso putting an old-school action icon against Diesel’s newcomer would have made for a great combination.
It’s unclear what roles they would have played, though it seems logical that Stallone would have played Ecks – the FBI agent pursuing Sever – while Diesel would play the mysterious assassin. Watching Stallone fight Diesel would have been worth the price of admission alone, but for unknown reasons, both actors dropped out. The premise of Ballistics: Ecks Vs Sever looks a bit like Stallone’s killers too, which ironically paired him with eventual Ecks interpreter Antonio Banderas.
According to the director, the reason Ballistics: Ecks Vs Sever was so badly criticized that it was taken out of his hands by the producers, who cut key scenes and ruined the flow of the action in later edits. The film at least features impressive practical effects and stunts, but it’s hard to say if Ballistics: Ecks Vs Sever would have turned out better had it paired Sylvester Stallone against Vin Diesel.
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