Jan 27, 2008

[Movies] Rise: Blood Hunter

Rise: Blood HunterI'm a fan of Lucy Liu in my own right. Can you blame me? She tends to pick some pretty fierce, kick-ass roles whether on TV or in film so you come to expect a certain nature to the characters that she plays. Above all else she has to be a strong female even when faced with unusual and dangerous circumstances. Plus she has rather interesting freckles.

Rise - Blood Hunter was a pretty weird film though, even for Lucy Liu, and I'm not sure if it really was a good decision to sign up with this project. As far as horror movies go, it wasn't all that great.

At its core, Rise is supposed to be a vampire movie. There's definitely blood-sucking, immortality and a general lack of reflections in mirrors, which is a nice tribute to the classic vampire tales but beyond that there's not much else about that that's interesting. In this movie, vampires are essentially people who suck blood so it's not really clear if they can stand sunlight or not and they don't fly, shape shift or have superhuman strength, at least not obviously so.

Oh, and they don't have fangs. Yeah, exactly. So they carry knives, blades and other such sharp implements in order to open up vital veins and arteries upon which to feed upon.

A lot of characters tend to be rather one-dimensional, which was rather disappointing. Lucy Lie plays Sadie Blake, the plucky reporter and eventual heroine. Michael Chiklis of The Shield plays a cop (and of course he's a rather violent one, which came as no surprise). Mako played the largely silent Asian butler. You seeing the stereotyping going on here?

The movie really could have used more action. It started well enough with the classic stupid-teenagers-becoming-vampire-food sequence and that was sufficiently bloody and scary but beyond that the plot began to stumble about like some reckless ogre and it turns out in this universe it only takes a silver crossbow bolt to the heart to kill them. No fancy death sequences or special effects for the vampires - they just slump back to the ground dead once shot. Whoopie.

I'm sure the makers of this film were aiming for some level of realism and believability, going away from the overly supernatural image of vampires in the Blade universe, but I felt this movie could have accomplished much more had they really tried. Instead we're left with a movie that fails as a vampire movie, barely passes as a horror movie and probably the only real value it has to come from the chance to see Lucy Liu in various states of undress.

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