In the Blood has plenty of issues but with Gina Carano’s fighting skills and being at least an adequate enough actress on par with 80s/90s versions of Jean-Claude Van Dam and Steven Seagal, has the potential to be a staple in the thin mindless action flicks if she picks the right scripts.
In the Blood
Genre(s): Action, Thriller
Anchor Bay | R – 107 min. – $30.99 | June 3, 2014
THE MOVIE – 3.5/5
After watching In the Blood, I’ve determined Gina Carano, although hardly a great actress, she seems to be cut from the same cloth as Jean-Claude Van Dam and Steven Segal in their primes back in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Some might scoff but she provides the same level of entertainment be it in an ensemble as in Fast & Furious 6 or the Steven Soderbergh thriller, Haywire. In this latest, she once again proves her worth despite a story, and mostly the twist, that’s quite laughable.
Ava is a woman with a violent past after her outlaw father (STEPHEN LANG) is gunned down during a robbery to which she finished off the perps with two shotgun shots. Twelve years later, Ava (GINA CARANO) is about to get married to Derek Grant (CAM GIGNDET), much to the chagrin of Derek’s father (TREAT WILLIAMS), after the pair met in a narcotics anonymous meeting.
After the wedding, they go on their honey in the Caribbean, taking in the sights and staying at an estate owned by Derek’s family who are very wealthy. While at dinner, the pair meets the charming Manny (ISMAEL CRUZ CORDOVA) who offers to take them to a club and the following day, a ride on the zip line. Don’t worry, for those who have seen Devil’s Due, Ava doesn’t get impregnated with the Anti-Christ… Anyway, things are going well until Derek decides to ride on what is called “The Widow maker”, a zip line a mile long, which Ava refused to take being afraid of heights (well, for now, later she seems to get over it). Halfway, Derek’s line begins to tear and we are now in Cliffhanger territory as he dangles. Manny attempts to save him but Derek slips falling below, later to be found with a broken ankle and numerous other injuries.
Derek is taken by ambulance but when Ava tries to find him, they show no entry that he was there… and checking other hospitals in the area, there is no sign of her husband. She also has no luck at the police station and the chief of police (LUIS GUZMAN) and when Derek’s family arrives, the father, already not a fan of hers, makes his feelings known believing she has something to do with his son’s disappearance and soon enough, the police chief isn’t convinced her story especially when it doesn’t check out, with the zip line instructor denying ever knowing her and Manny disappearing completely.
With seemingly nobody on her side, Ava sets out to hunt down those involved one by one and find out the truth about what happened to Derek and hopefully find him before it is too late.
In the Blood is a simple thriller, almost a callback to the Seagal and Van Dam era and while the movie does tend to drag in a couple of places, I did enjoy watching Carano ripping through this Caribbean country (not sure if it was ever named) kicking ass MMA style and taking names in the process. For her part, Carano might not be a great actress but she possesses great charisma, enough to hold together a thin plot and ultimately a motivation reveal that was a bit laughable. Between this movie, Haywire and her limited part in the ensemble actioner Fast & Furious 6, she might have a good career so long as she stays within a certain niche and doesn’t go outside her comfort zone (i.e. doing a gritty dark thriller).
The supporting players are pretty limited. You’ve got Luis Guzman playing a corrupt police chief and his scenes, all with Carano, are kind of fun, but Danny Trejo has maybe 5-minutes of screen time and Stephen Lang even less so playing Ava’s father who teaches her the ways of fighting and getting out of the toughest situations; his part is at best 2-minutes and very few lines to the point where I wonder why even cast him, let alone credit him on the front cover (even worse is Trejo being on there, though). I like all of these guys but outside of Guzman, the other two are woefully (to say the least) underutilized.
In the Blood was helmed by John Stockwell, best known for his shoots in exotic locations (Blue Crush, Into the Blue, Turistas, Dark Tide), and hardly the greatest suspense-thriller ever made, not even close with a messy plot, I found it to be enjoyable enough if only for Gina Carano who does hold some charm even if she’s not the best actress around
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.25/5
This release comes with a glossy and reflective slip cover. Inside is a retail DVD Copy and a code for the UltraViolet Digital Copy. Unfortunately the only thing we get is a In the Blood: Behind the Scenes (19:20; HD) featurette, taking us on-location and providing interviews with the cast and crew.
Preview – Small Time
VIDEO – 4.5/5
Anchor Bay releases In the Blood onto Blu-ray presented with a 1080p high-def transfer (MPEG-4 AVC codec) and with a 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio. The video, as expected, looks really good, free of artifacts, pixilation and other flaws and detail levels tend to be sharp especially for the close-up shots. Colors are nice and bright showcasing Caribbean landscapes.
AUDIO – 4.25/5
The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 isn’t anything profound but gets the job done. The dialogue sounds clear throughout and whenever we get into the gun battle and a scene in the club, that’s when the depth of the lossless track really shows itself. Outside of those, it’s not a great track, just an above average one that might not impress but will be satisfying enough.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Overall, In the Blood has plenty of issues but with Gina Carano’s fighting skills and being at least an adequate enough actress on par with 80s/90s versions of Jean-Claude Van Dam and Steven Seagal, has the potential to be a staple in the thin mindless action flicks if she picks the right scripts. The Blu-ray released by Anchor Bay has good audio/video transfers and the solo feature is limited in scope.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.