"In the Blood" is Another Action Film Failing to Make Good Use of Gina Carano Review

Even though there are more now than ever before, there’s still a shortage of female action stars working today. Chalk that up to an unfortunately low number of films that require women in physical roles and perhaps even more at fault are the quality of those films. Sure, every now and then we get a Kill Bill, Hanna, or The Hunger Games, but more often than not it’s something like an Underworld sequel, Resident Evil, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Charlie’s Angels, or Catwoman. The latest chapter in poorly utilized action starlets comes in the form of In the Blood, which stars Gina Carano as a newlywed hell-bent discovering the truth of her husband’s disappearance even if that requires breaking a few bones to do it.

When we get the action that a movie starring Gina Carano inherently promises (I mean, that’s the reason you cast her right now – as she hasn’t shown the comedy or dramatic chops yet that helped Dwayne Johnson branch out), it’s mostly satisfying even if the style is a bit inconsistent. For the first brawl in a night club we end up at grainy overhead footage that gives us a scope of all the action, but feels less personal and thus less brutal than the opening moments of the fight where we’re on the dance floor next to her. The cinematic nature of the action gets more traditional later on, but really the action moments feel far too few. It’s basically Taken with Gina Carano as Liam Neeson searching for her husband instead of a daughter, but it doesn’t deliver nearly as often on action beats and consequently we’re left with a lot of trite melodrama (like the father of her missing husband not trusting her) or plotting that’s never as fulfilling as the action beats.

Ultimately, In the Blood is a film where the only real audience is mixed martial arts action fans, but it doesn’t provide enough of those moments to really satisfy even them. Gina Carano deserves better, maybe another break like Haywire, but with fewer shortcomings.

Blu-ray Bonus Features

A production featurette is the only extra apart from an Ultraviolet digital copy of the film.

"In the Blood" is on sale June 3, 2014 and is rated R. Action. Directed by John Stockwell. Written by James Robert Johnston, Bennett Yellin. Starring Cam Gigandet, Danny Trejo, Gina Carano.

Lex Walker • Editor

He's a TV junkie with a penchant for watching the same movie six times in one sitting. If you really want to understand him you need to have grown up on Sgt. Bilko, Alien, Jurassic Park and Five Easy Pieces playing in an infinite loop. Recommend something to him - he'll watch it.


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