NOVEMBER 17, 2007
Have you seen Innocent Blood? Good, you’ve also seen Rise: Blood Hunter. The differences are barely worth mentioning, but since I already wrote a Blood review, I guess I gotta write something. Far be it from me to be lazy (despite the fact that the only reason I rented the movie at all was because it was right next to another movie that I was renting called Rise Of The Dead).
Yes, the film offers precious little new to the genre: a female vampire (Lucy Liu) who doesn’t WANT to be a vampire begrudgingly teams up with a cop who thinks she’s just a killer in order to take out a group of bad guys. Some flashbacks add a bit of brain work add muted interest to the proceedings, but it’s not enough to really make it stick out.
Two things DO stick out though. One is the film’s excessive length. 122 minutes for a movie with barely any plot other than what I described above? At first I was baffled by the claim that 25 minutes of never before seen footage was added to the film, since I thought it was direct to DVD, but apparently it played for a week or so last June (so, along with Fido, was I even fucking awake in June? Christ). By my math, that would make the theatrical version a much more manageable 97 minutes, though I couldn’t care less about what was removed/added. I’ll just say, if the 97 minute version IS available, I urge you to stick with that, the added stuff can’t possibly have made the film any better.
The other thing that caught my attention was the ridiculous amount of one scene turns in the film by people who are relatively well-known, but aren’t quite yet in the cameo stage of their careers. Marilyn Manson and Robert Forster are one thing (actually, two), but Elden Henson? Holt McCallany? Zach Gilford? Simon Fucking Rex? According to the IMDb, Nick Lachey also shows up, but I can’t place him. Not to mention how little Michael Chiklis, Carla Gugino, and Mako are in the film. No, this is almost all Liu, all the time, and since she’s really not that great of an actress, that’s kind of a bummer. At least offer more Gugino, you monsters!
I will point out that the film thankfully includes very few instances of Liu being all "grrrl"ish, nor does she seemingly hate every character with a penis for no reason (at least not as much compared to Tank Girl or whatever). I was talking the other day with a (female) friend about how much we wish that more action/horror films with females in the lead functioned more as actual movies of their genre and less as feminist fantasy. So in that department, for what it's worth, it does OK enough.
I dunno. Technically the film is fine, and there are nice set pieces here and there, but damned if I’ll remember a goddamn thing about it by the time I finish posting this review.
What say you?