On April 24th, MMA fighter turned actress Gina Carano returns for a second time as a lead to North America’s big screens. With In The Blood, Gina steps up with enough violence and blood to satisfy the expectations of action B-movie lovers everywhere. But as skillfully as she jump-front-kicks everyone in the face, she still ends up biting the dust with a bad script.
Director John Stockwell’s In The Blood has everything a movie of this genre should bare: a Caribbean intrigue with a drug cartel and corrupt cops, over the top (but still within the good limits) violence, and an innocent victim looking for the truth… with deadly punches and vicious street fighting skills! Add to that good direction, catchy music, top b-movie actors and an overly used premise that has previously proven effective… BINGO, you have an instant late night classic. But not in this case… Even though the movie has all the right elements for the perfect recipe, the core ingredient is missing.
It’s a fun ride… at least, at the beginning.
In The Blood tells the story of Ava (Gina Carano), a newlywed on her dream honeymoon with her handsome and rich husband. But things go horribly askew when he disappears after an intense zip-line incident, forcing the poor girl to reach into her dark past in order to investigate.
If the plot behind In The Blood is far from being original, it is nonetheless pleasant and promising as the movie begins. Everything comes forth in order to create a violent ride. To increase the tension, the director uses diverse camera techniques, including what seems like vivid ‘Go Pro’ and surveillance shots. What more could I ask for? A murderous bar fight where Ana shows her killer skills against Danny Trejo for the first time? You got it!
While the premises sets us up perfectly, it does not last long. As the movie continues, it slowly sinks into a redundant quest for the truth. The mediocrity of the script makes this 130 minute spectacle a boring one that seems to last forever. Every other aspect of the film tries its hardest to save the day, but there isn’t enough to bring the fun back. The film culminates with an interminable ending that leaves any and all cohesion or sense behind. I am left to wonder if it was shot only to produce a longer film.
As for the acting, Carano as well as the main cast perform well, and keep us seated to the end. From Luis Guzman to Cam Gigandet, Danny Trejo to Treat Williams, there is a palette of familiar faces. Sadly, most of them have incredibly small parts. I kept hoping one of them would come and save the show, but clearly, I was asking for too much. The directing is punchy and successfully keeps the pace up at the beginning.
But as hard as Gina tries, as lively as the direction is, everything eventually gets submerged by waves of mindless writing. Instead of being a fun and a bit dumb entertainment, In The Blood is a deceptive film — sometimes funny, sometimes intense, but mostly dull. It is sad to witness all the effort from the cast and crew suffering through such a drawn out story. In my opinion, 40 minutes less would have given the movie a chance…
In the Blood opens in theaters in Montreal starting April 24th.
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