Reviews for the Easily Distracted:
In the Blood
Title: In the Blood
DIdn't Captain America: The Winter Soldier Open This Week? I went to the Astros opening game instead. What is it with these questions, anyway?
Rating Using Random Objects Relevant To The Film: Three Gulfstreams out of five.
Brief Plot Synopsis: Newlywed with troubled past attempts to solve mystery of husband's disappearance, cure hemophilia.
Tagline: None. I guess all their writing budget went to pay Treat Williams' exorbitant salary.
Better Tagline: "'Til death does she part ... and not a second before."
Not So Brief Plot Synopsis: Ava (Gina Carano) seems to have gotten her life back on track after a sketchy childhood involving combat training and her father's murder. Newly married to handsome (and rich) Derek (Cam Gigandet), she's ready to turn over a new leaf. If only these Dominican drug dealers with their weird diseases would stop kidnapping strapping American men, forcing her to scissor kick them into oblivion.
"Critical" Analysis: A general rule for honeymoons should be: when Danny Trejo shows up, it's time to pack it in.
In the Blood is going to draw inevitable Taken references. I know, because I'm about to make one ("Do you Taken this woman?"). That's understandable, and it's hardly the only movie that's going to elicit the same comparisons.
What makes this movie different is Carano. Nobody's going to mistake the former MMA fighter for Kate Wnslet, or Kate Hudson for that matter, but she's definitely more at ease here than in the uneven Haywire. More to the point: she kicks serious ass. In fact, if I have a major complaint with In the Blood, it's that it leaves too many asses un-kicked. There are other, great martial artists in film right now (The Raid's Iko Uwais and Tony Jaa come to mind), but -- for some reason - Hollywood wants to make Carano happen.
Or maybe not. In the Blood is directed by John "Cougar" Stockwell, who never met a submerged bikini shot he didn't like. From Blue Crush to Into the Blue to Turistas to Dark Tide, I'm convinced he just sits around his Top Gun mansion reading scripts until he finds one containing the magical combination of cerulean water and two piece swimsuits.
And to be sure, Carano looks perfectly fetching in her beach combo, or Daisy Dukes and a tank top, or an evening dress and a thong (tastefully exposed during a nightclub free-for-all). But she also represents a complete 180 degree circle kick on the traditional female role. "Why aren't I driving?" Derek asks while riding pillion on a jet ski (I'll bet Ava doesn't even ask for directions). He's even the one to ask, "What are you thinking?" Jeez, why doesn't he just put on a dress and be done with it?
Even better is when Luis Guzman shows up and tells her how the noble Dominican Republic abides by the Geneva Convention and Ava needs to take her vigilante ass out of there. Guzman's not a bad actor, but he's played sleazeballs for so long it's impossible to take the scene seriously.
So, short version: remake all Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Steven Seagal movies with Gina Carano in them. And also make her Wonder Woman. And give Luis Guzman an honorary Academy Award.
In the Blood is in theaters today. If your date gets bored, you can always ask her to choke you out.
Get the Theater and Arts Newsletter
Exclusive discounts and announcements to Houston theater shows and art events