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Bloodrayne (2005): Glad I Packed My Bloodbrella

I thought more about not reviewing this movie than I ever had any movie before. Not only does it have a reputation as being quite bad, it has the Uwe Boll to back that up. Now I'm not saying that every Boll film is complete trash, but when the man adapts a video game, all bets are off. After making the masterclass in how to make a bad game flick with House of the Dead, Boll returned to console for a pair of big screen translations in the form of Alone in the Dark and today's film, Bloodrayne. Now, while I spent some time with a gamepad in my hand, I never got into the Tomb Raider games or their knockoffs. So I never encountered the vampire hunter Rayne in her original pixelated form. This means I have only a basic Wikipedia based knowledge of her exploits. This is both a good and bad thing. I won't spend eons dissing the movie for not adhering to the source material, but if there was anything redeemable about the character, once Boll's movie is done with her, there's a good chance I'll miss it.

Model turned actress Kristanna Loken, best known as the T-X from Terminator 3, stars as Rayne, a dhampir, the spawn of a human mother and vampire father. In this case, the living dead-beat dad is chief vampire baddie Kagan, Ben Kingsley slumming it. As the film begins, Rayne is the captive of a carnival sideshow, being fed animal blood to show off her "tricks". When she gets a hold of  some human blood, she goes batty killing off the other performers before escaping into the woods. Hot on her trail are two bands of riders. Vladimir (Micheal Madsen), Sebatian (Matthew Davis), and Katrine (Michelle Rodriguez) are vampire hunters and leaders of Kagan's opposition the Brimstone Society. They're out to keep Rayne away from Kagan's forces, lead by the creatively head shaved Domostir (Will Sanderson), before the vampire-in-chief can  get his hands on a powerful talisman that Rayne possess.

Thankfully, Bloodrayne was not a waste of my time. Why you might ask? Here's why..

That's right Michelle Rodriguez in an adventurer outfit entirely unsuited for swordplay. If nothing else in this movie was worth my time watching, then at least I had her screen-time to give me solace. Some people don't like her, those people are wrong. So there. Anyhow, to my great surprise, I actually ended up finding a few other things to like, but don't worry, it's not all a lovefest. I've still got a number of things to hate on. Now I won't even get into Uwe Boll's direction of the film. If you've seen any of his other movies, then you know what that's like. There's a workmanlike diligence to entertainment, and Boll is more than willing to throw in splattery violence, nudity, and just enough of a nonsense plot to get the job done. Bloodrayne hits this standard stride.

The fate of the film kind of falls to the actors, and unfortunately, while there were a couple of inspired performances, many of the players seemed like they were waiting on the check to clear. Much of the film falls on the shoulders of Kristanna Loken, and there's a reason that the T-X didn't have a huge speaking role. Loken, while pretty enough to look at and matches up pretty well to her video game counterpart, just never rallys the viewer into caring about her. She does doff her clothes in a sex scene with Matthew Davis, and many will find this the film's highlight. So it should be noted that the scene is supposedly not simulated, but as the actors as shot from waist up, it would be hard to determine if the only penetration in Bloodrayne came from fangs.

David, sporting an impressive mullet, is so milquetoast that i never had much interest in him either. On the other hand, his partner, played by Micheal Madsen, might have been there for the money, but his lackadaisical performance leads to a few good moments as Madsen plays Vladimir like the most laid back vampire killer since Blade got hooked on Hydrocodone. Rodriguez, apart from filling out her outfit, turns in the films best performance, but I imight be biased. Bloodrayne also gets a shot in the arm from Meat Loaf as a lecherous vamp surrounded by real Romanian hookers, Kingsley bringing a grand presence as Kegan, Udo Keir in a brief appearance as a monk, and Billy Zane in one of the world's worst hairpieces.

So was Bloodrayne a good movie that will inspire me to check out the two sequels that followed (both starring Norwegian actress Natassia Malthe replacing Lokan)? As the kids say these days, hell to the no. While I found myself entertained by Bloodrayne and thankful that the film keeps a pacy delivery the sped the movie along, it didn't inspire confidence that further movies would do more than rehash or rip off successful franchises like Underworld. However, as far as video game movies go, it was far from the worst I've ever seen. Even under the gentle hand of Uwe Boll, Bloodrayne manages to be better than Super Mario Brothers, Tekken, the Tomb Raider films, and Doom combined together. For some reason, the same stories that work on consoles never seem to exactly work on the silver screen as if the experience wouldn't translate if the viewer didn't have a gamepad in their hand. Someday, there will be a video game film that does the same thing The Dark Knight did for comic books, prove that the source material can become a viable artistic vision across mediums. Until then, well, I surely won't say we've got Bloodrayne, but it's there if you want to watch it and stuff.

Bugg Rating

3 comments:

  1. Dude... you have to check out Bloodrayne 3. Not only is it better than this one, it makes my happy places... well... happy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well on the advice of your... places, perhaps I will get there someday, but I'd hate to skip Bloodrayne 2. I don't want to be lost in the story....

      Delete
  2. All bloodrayne movies are shit! And doom, tekken, tomb raider are waaay better than bloodrayne movies all put together.

    ReplyDelete

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