Being a fan of Alejandro González Iñárritu's work, I was very excited to see Babel. Mr. Iñárritu is clearly fascinated by the concept of interconnected lives, how people of vastly disparate lives can still have the most profound impacts upon each other. The movie may be looked at, therefore, as an extrapolation of his previous effort 21 Grams, in which 3 stories taking place in the United States were interwoven. In Babel, we have 4 stories, taking place in 3 countries. There's some great acting from the principle cast, and some moment s of genuine beauty, emotion, surprise and intrigue. But the film is near-crippled by its excessive length and lack of real development on 21 Grams, which is a much better effort, carrying more emotional resonance and much less self-conscious stylishness. There's large chunks which could have been cut without anything being sacrificed, and some of the connections between the storylines are so tenuous that they carry almost no weight at all. It's certainly an interesting film, and Iñárritu's flair for cinema is apparent. The problem is not that it's a weak offering, its simply that, over the course of his career, he's given us so much better.