Blood Out (2011) - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies
28Apr/111

Blood Out (2011)

Andrew DISLIKEThe weeks aren't always kind to me.  This one yielded the most interesting product in an ABC Family original film then took a turn for the worse with a direct-to-DVD Canadian production.  Now comes Blood Out, a terrible title for a movie that can trace it's DNA to Bloodsport, NARC, Bad Boys 2, and a slightly embarrassing stab at The French Connection.  It's not nearly as bad as Sacrifice but owes it's own little debt to it's forebears and still manages to pack in another slumming former star.

That isn't to say that someone, somewhere, might get a kick out of Blood Out.  Those people have reached the bottom of the Family Video stack, or are huge fans of Val Kilmer, saw one look at the muscular and cut lead brandishing a pistol like it's Go Time and thought that they'd be in for a good night of action.  In this hypothetical situation, these people won't be disappointed.  Heck, add alcohol and it seems like it might be a really fun night.

However, those of us that are sober (or can't get drunk enough to forget dangling plot-threads) won't have much to go on.  Luke Goss stars as today's unhinged cop ready to blow, Michael Spencer.  In a brisk opening sequence we watch as he raids a meth lab where the product is cooked by only the hottest topless super-models (I guess they haven't seen those "effects of Meth" ads).  Michael chases one of the drug-lords into a group of kids where he decides to shoot the fleeing criminal right when the man has a gun trained onto a little girls chest.

This is definitely the right time to take that shot (not pictured: the extreme apathy of the little girl).

The implied sadness of the moment is undercut by the over-the-top attempts at badassery, evidenced by the second gun that Michael pulls out of the void for that John Woo charm, and the fact that the kids saw the SWAT team arriving and decided not to leave.  Or, worse still, the SWAT team decided to not secure the area in the slightest prior to their arrival.

Whatever, despite the fact that a little girl got shot because of Michael's recklessness the whole incident is almost completely forgotten five minutes later when his brother is killed by a gang.  So Michael goes off the grid, inks up his entire body, and the film becomes a confusing mish-mash of it's influences.  There's a fight ring, human trafficking, Michael's investigation, police corruption, investigative competition from the Feds, and a rash of dominatrix's who seem to think that the height of depravity is a spank on the bottom.

This is a hideously overstuffed turkey.  Despite the obvious care and craft that went into the photography (which relies a bit too much on CSI-styled harsh-lighting and shaky-cam but is otherwise functionable) none of it seems to have gone into editing.  I admit that despite my feverish attempts to keep up with the movie in my notes that I gave up for a few minutes just to catch my breath.

Is this trying to depict Michael's state of mind?  Well no, he is focused on his revenge and sex seems to be the furthest thing from his mind.  What it functions as is an example of "Man, I've got this cool idea" screenplay writing and while I appreciate the enthusiasm (especially for a late film appearance of a black Spartan gladiator) it's so incoherently structured that it's near-impossible to appreciate any one element.

Slumming may be a bit too kind, but Kilmer's hair hasn't looked this ravishing since MacGruber.

Then there's our slumming star Val Kilmer.  His career has become the pathetic counterpoint to Cuba Gooding Jr.'s in some ways.  With Cuba there's the sense that he's really trying and just wants to distance himself with what made him famous.  Val just remains the same arrogant-prick with a modicum of talent that he was twenty years ago.  True, that gets him into roles like his gay private detective in Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, but it also leaves him time to slum with ridiculous hair spouting off quotes about the God of War as if he gave half a damn.

He plays the human-trafficker and, really, considering how well the rest of the cast comes off (even 50 Cent) in spite of the material it just seems lazy and unprofessional.  Because of the many Mars quotes I kept envisioning someone like Patrick Stewart in the role.  Even in stuff like Masterminds he went full-tilt.  But we're left with a vain and terrible performance for one of the villains.

The rest of the film is filled with cliches infused with energy and not much else to recommend but isn't altogether worthless.  The limitations of our rating system keep me from assigning this what I want to, so I'll have to stick with Dislike.  In a perfect world, it would be "Jurgashwhat?" because some things are just like that.

Blood Out (2011)
Directed by Jason Hewitt.
Screenplay by Jason Hewitt and  John A. O'Connell.
Starring Luke Goss, Val Kilmer and 50 Cent.

Posted by Andrew

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  1. Since you had a lot of Kilmer and Gooding Jr. separately, why don’t you review this http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1405412/ to cap off the week.


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