Antonio Banderas and Lucy Liu in the titular roles.Sever (Liu), a rogue Defense Intelligence Agency operative, kidnaps the son of the agency's director, Robert Gant (Gregg Henry). In response, the DIA calls in former agent Jeremiah Ecks (Banderas) to find Sever and save the child.It is probably best remembered for appearing on many "Worst Films Ever" lists. It boasts the most reviews for a 0% rated film on Rotten Tomatoes. The game also had two adaptations for the Game Boy Advance. Both First Person Shooters, the first one, simply titled Ecks vs. Sever, was based on an earlier draft of the script. The sequel, carrying the film's full title, follows the story of the film more closely.
Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever provides examples of the following tropes:
- Action Girl: Sever
- Backwards-Firing Gun: The Big Bad tricks a lackey into killing himself by giving him a backwards-firing pistol.
- Big Bad: Gant
- Blatant Lies: The movie is titled Ecks vs. Sever, but though the two have a very brief scuffle after a chase scene early on, they never truly face each other as "enemies". They even end up fighting on the same side by roughly the halfway point of the movie.
- California Doubling: The film inverts and subverts this trope thanks to its shooting location of Vancouver — while the story takes place there, the film features no Vancouver landmarks, which makes the film look as if it takes place somewhere else. (However, as Roger Ebert observes, it is somewhat mysterious why Canada tolerates American agents wreaking havoc on its territory).
- Cool vs. Awesome: The movie makes a valiant attempt to run on this trope.
- Dual Wielding: Sever does this with a pair of telescopic batons.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Gant's plan revolved around using a nanobot that can cause heart attacks. However, by the end, he gets shot by a bullet prepared with said nanobots and dies.
- Just Eat Gilligan: Or rather, "Just Taser Sever!" An early action scene relies on the idea that the Defense Intelligence Agency is not allowed to actually shoot Sever in their attempt at apprehending her. (She's the only person who knows where she stashed a kidnap victim, so they need her alive.) As a result they try to shoot around her to pin her down so they can apprehend her. Needless to say, she escapes with ease. If just one person in the DIA had remembered that tasers exist, or tranquilizer darts, or tear gas, or even had simply aimed for her legs to incapacitate her then the movie would have been over right there.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Ecks eventually finds out that he has a son — Michael.
- Mama Bear: Sever wants revenge on Gant because he killed her husband and daughter.
- Mandatory Unretirement: Ecks
- Nano Machine: A microscopic robot injected into a person's blood via a dart — and can subsequently induce fatal medical conditions — serves as the film's MacGuffin.
- Plot Hole: Plenty of these exist in this film.
- Stuff Blowing Up: The final act of the film, set at a rail yard, would give Michael Bay a run for his money.
- Television Geography (Averted)
- What Measure Is a Mook?: Sever guns down dozens of DIA agents and security guards over the course of the film, and not only does no one seem to care, but in the end, someone says of her, "she's a killer" — which prompts Ecks to reply, "she's a mother".