In the Blood Blu-ray Review
An early flashback shows just how tough Ava is: when there’s a noise in the house, she pulls out a knife from under her pillow and goes to see what it is. A few gunshots later, her father (Stephen Lang, AVATAR) is on the kitchen floor. Instead of mourning, she fires a shot into the murderer without blinking.
The next time we see Ava (MMA star Gina Carano, whose other acting credits include Steven Soderbergh’s HAYWIRE and sequel FAST & FURIOUS 6), she’s in her wedding dress. The honeymoon is in the Caribbean and comes complete with a poorly edited montage of gorgeous properties, making out in the water, boat rides, jet skis, fishing and some belly kissing. Ava and Derek (Cam Gigandet, TWILIGHT) get acquainted with a local, Manny (Ismael Cruz- Córdova, who appeared on a handful of episodes of CBS’ THE GOOD WIFE), who takes them to a club, where a few wrong moves turn into a brawl in which Ava throws fists, flaunts her martial arts skills and smashes a glass over a victim’s head. And because they messed with the wrong hombre, a bad dude named Big Biz (Danny Trejo, MACHETE), Derek soon goes missing.
Ava is led around in circles by the locals, including police chief Ramón Garza (Luis Guzmán, THE LAST STAND), and so she is left no choice but to track down those responsible herself and provide the necessary beat downs. And that’s when IN THE BLOOD turns into a hunt-and-revenge flick that is as standard as they come.
The locations may be gorgeous and the lead may be sexier than, say, Liam Neeson, but writers James Robert Johnston and Bennett Yellin (JOY RIDE 2: DEAD AHEAD) and director John Stockwell (SEAL TEAM SIX: THE RAID ON OSAMA BIN LADEN, TURISTAS) have still concocted a movie that has been done countless times before. We know that the hero(ine) will efficiently find every last one that wronged her and her man and do things like dunk their head in a toilet and send a swift knee to their jaw.
The general plot will no doubt draw an audience, but fans of the subgenre will likely get bored, as the action doesn’t really kick into gear until more than halfway through the movie. (That’s not to say there aren’t thrills in the first act—the scene on a faulty zip line that will make those afraid of heights nauseous.) Of course, the male portion won’t mind the wait because they’ll at least have Carano to stare at—and there’ll be plenty to ogle over, because the movie is at times fairly perverted, as shown in the unnecessary shots of Ava in the shower and adjusting her bra in the mirror, as well as having her underwear the blatant star of one scene.
Not even factoring in her looks, Carano is the major appeal here. The chase and knock-‘em-down sequences themselves don’t give her a whole lot to work with, but she goes through it all with ease and shows genuine skill as a lower-tier action star.
IN THE BLOOD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: 1.85:1 in 1080p with MPEG-4 AVC codec. The video presentation occasionally brings out nice colors (as in the zip-lining scenes) and black levels (the club scene), but often feels flat and without much range.
Audio: English Dolby TrueHD 5.1. Subtitles in English and Spanish. The audio is a bit better, with clean dialogue and strong SFX that make Ava’s thumpings more effective.
IN THE BLOOD: Behind the Scenes (19:20): This standard promotional pieces compiles on-set footage and interviews with star Gina Carano, director John Stockwell and more.