Sometimes you walk into a movie simply knowing that you are about to watch a train wreck. I am not talking about Unstoppable or Under Siege 2 (though the latter was arguably a train wreck in its own right) either. It is the kind of movie where you hope there is enough action and some mindless t&a to get you through the ninety minutes. Then maybe at the end of it all, one can forget about it and move on. Let us move on to the dinner course this evening, Blood Out.
It is just another day in Anytown, USA (this movie was filmed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana but you would never know it). Drugs are all over the streets and the sides break down between those who deal the dope and those who try to deal the justice. On a bust, Sergeant Michael Savion (played by Luke Goss) chases after a drug dealer and lays him out with two bullets to the back. But unfortunately before he falls dead, the thug shoots a little girl beside him, killing her instantly. Michael blames himself as he goes back to the station.
But Michael has issues closer to home. His brother, David (played by Ryan Donowho) has been deep into drugs and the gang life since he was twelve. Michael’s brother comes to him asking for help and says he wants to get out and marry his girlfriend, Gloria (played by Stephanie Honore)once and for all. Michael of course tries to help. However, things are not in the brother’s favor when the next night, David gets beaten to death and then shot in the back by a gang. Blood in, Blood Out.
The gang is led by Zed (played by Vinnie Jones) and Elias (played by Tamer Hassan). Michael finds out the next day his brother is dead. He goes to the guy at the head of case, Hardwick (played by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson) and Michael is met with much resistance when he asks too many questions. Hardwick acts like a jackhole and then proceeds to beat him senseless before a fellow cop stuns Michael into unconsciousness. Later, Michael wakes up handcuffed to a pipe. Hardwick is there to talk some sense into him before letting him loose.
Michael must come up with a different plan to extract real justice. He enlists help from his partner, Billy (played by Shaun Grant) and then decides to go deep undercover. The first step, to become just like the fellow gang members and get some matching tattoos. The second step, to befriend one of the top people in the gang, Anthony (played by Ed Quinn). The third-fifth? Superhuman feats of strength, personal relations with Elias’ mistress of pain and of course becoming a general of the gang in less time than it takes for me to write this article.
Before I get to the ridiculous, I do want to lay a tiny amount of praise on several of the actors in the film. Luke Goss, Shaun Grant and Ed Quinn do a decent and honest job in this flic. If they ever have the opportunity to perform in meatier roles (Ed has actually been in a couple of fine tv shows, True Blood and Eureka), they should all do respectable work. Even, Anya (played by AnnaLynne McCord) turns in a likable performance as the mistress of pain (but with a curious secret) I mentioned earlier.
However, that is where the praise ends. The movie is ridiculous on so many levels that it bends reality all over the place. First, it is an urban action movie, we get that. Then tell me why, we have bad cops like Hardwick beating the crap out of a fellow cop (in his uniform nevertheless) and having his friends put the stun gun to him? If that wasn’t enough, we are supposed to actually believe that Michael can infiltrate a top gang that controls most of North America (if that wasn’t enough of a stretch) and become a general in no time at all.
Oh, have I mentioned that near the end of the film, Michael actually throws a car? Yes, he becomes the Incredible Hulk for a day and throws a car down the street, flips and all. Probably not the director’s intention, but it certainly gives you that illusion. Perhaps the greatest failing in the film though is the marketing. It bills Val Kilmer, Vinnie Jones and 50 Cent as the “stars of the film”.
Stars? If Stars means cameos, then sure they are the stars of the film. These three characters spend more time on the cover than they do in the actual film. Heck, there wasn’t even a point to mention Val Kilmer’s role. I think he played the Great Pumpkin. Oh wait, it was really Arturo, the South American drug boss. I couldn’t tell the difference. The other thing that bothered me was the back of the dvd.
Sheriff Michael Spencer. Come again? Yeah, Luke Goss’ role according to the idiots who designed the back cover was Sheriff Michael Spencer. Sorry, it was not Spencer, or Michael Cera or even Michael Jack Schmidt of the Philadelphia Phillies. It was Savion! (and he wasn’t a sheriff either). I have yet to see a retail outfit (only the reviewers who actually watched the flic) correct this complete mis justice.
The video is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The film is shot gritty on purpose and with the expected night time scenes being the majority, one would probably be right to assume that the picture quality is only fair at best. Well, thankfully the film is a little bit better than that. Darks are pretty decent, and the film brings out some good tones. Too bad we have no clue that this was filmed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (which we only know from research).
The audio is presented in 5.1 English Dolby Digital. Even better is the strong audio that this film showcases pillar to post. Dialog is loud and robust with clarity at the forefront of the presentation. Sound effects are all over the place in this action film and do a good job of working out your speakers. As probably expected, the soundtrack (which is full of rap and hip-hop) is loud and bumps throughout most of the movie. English and Spanish subtitles are included.
- Automatic Trailers: The Heavy, Locked Down, Caught in the Crossfire, Break.Com and EPIX HD.
- Behind the Scenes with Cast & Crew 16:56 : A making of featurette is provided. It is honestly not that bad and covers all the major points of production with director Jason Hewitt as the host. Do not expect any bits with the “cameo stars of the movie”, most of the cast time is split between Luke Goss, Ed Quinn and AnnaLynne McCord which is probably better for everybody involved.
- Trailer 1:56 : The trailer for Blood Out. Even the trailer doesn’t look promising. Ouch.
Blood Out is unfortunately riddled with leaps of faith in character and marketing mistakes. Those who are looking for the next 50 Cent, Val Kilmer or even Vinnie Jones vehicle need to look elsewhere. This movie is about Luke Goss, plain and simple. Honestly, he does a decent job with his character. Sad to say, I can’t began to really give much praise to anybody or anything else. The video and audio are pretty decent and the lone extra isn’t bad if you actually liked the movie. I honestly hope that whoever is responsible for the cover (front and back) for the film is fired immediately. No recommendation here, only pain and suffering (and not the good kind demonstrated by Anya either) await those who enter here. Avoid.