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10/24/13

BLOODRAYNE - REVIEW


That's exactly what video game movies needed: another kick in the balls.

Uwe Boll's BloodRayne is now, of course, somewhat infamous for being one of his own most consistently flawed films and yet it somehow spawned not one but two sequels. A typical B-movie cast is assembled as the likes of Ben "way too good for this" Kingsley, Michael Madsen and Michelle Rodriguez walk around wearing bad wigs, goofy make-up and silly costumes either over-acting or under-acting their asses off. The plot follows Rayne (Kristanna Loken), a half-vampire half-human out for revenge against Kagan (Kingsley), the king of the vampires, for what he did to her family. While on her quest she meets a positively drunk Michael Madsen, a moody Michelle Rodriguez, not to mention Meat Loaf, Billy Zane and Udo Kier. It's like someone stole the Big 2000's B-Movie Rolodex and called everyone on there. The movie goes for Resident Evil/Underworld-style action cool (except set in the 18th century) but because everyone in it looks like they just don't want to be there at all and because the film is so altogether joyless (with the happy exception of an ebullient Meat Loaf) and poorly made, you end up wishing you were watching ANY of Paul W. S. Anderson's Resident Evil sequels instead. Everything the movie tries to be cool unfortunately backfires as our heroine spins weapons randomly in an inept montage while wearing a misguided outfit, our villains prompt laughter more than anything else, the sets look like sets, and the plot snails along from A to Z.

The writing really is the big problem here. A more tongue-in-cheek approach would have probably saved this movie from being as disliked as it is. You don't get the feeling that anyone knew how silly this movie was going to be even though it must have been pretty darn obvious as soon as Meat Loaf opened his mouth. You've got a lot of bad lines in this movie, and many of them are poorly delivered, which doesn't help. Unlike BloodRayne II: Deliverance, which I do have a soft spot for, this first outing for the franchise has no sense of humour which is why, as a bad movie, it's this much fun to take the mickey out of. It would have been hard to make BloodRayne seem plausible in a film, for sure, but with the right approach, a Grindhouse-style OTT gore-fest for example, this could have been a genuinely entertaining, goofy romp. Not that it has anything particularly unique to it story-wise or genre-wise but it could have revelled in its own B-movie-ness and gone all-out, staying somewhat self-aware the whole way. To be fair, the film's shoot didn't exactly go smoothly and the film was kind of doomed from the very start.

Boll since has proven that, under the right circumstances, he could come up with much better things than this so there's no real reason to see this movie except to poke fun at it. The cast and the occasional random moment keep BloodRayne just afloat enough that you won't fall asleep but you might want to lower your expectations.

Waaaay low.

On the plus side, the film does live up to its genius tagline:

"She's one hell of a heroine... literally!"

...

Wait, what?!

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