BloodRayne 2: Deliverance (2007)

The first BloodRayne movie had lots of blood and gore, a moderate amount of sex, and several big name stars including Ben Kingsley, Billy Zane, Michelle Rodriguez, and Michael Madsen. The second BloodRayne movies has virtually no blood or gore, no sex whatsoever, and a cast only a die-hard Uwe Boll fan could love.* The biggest name on the cast list is probably Jodelle Ferland (who single-handedly saved Tideland from being a complete waste of time). Basically, everything that made BloodRayne fun has been stripped out and replaced with, er, nothing.

The sad thing is that it really should have been awesome. It's about cowboy vampires in the Wild West - how could that not be awesome? Well, the first problem is that it was filmed in Vancouver, in the middle of winter. In almost all of the scenes, there's either snow on the ground or rain falling. Early on in the movie, the inclement weather is mentioned by one of the characters, but that doesn't quite excuse it; a Wild West movie pretty much demands a hot, dusty backdrop, and muddy Vancouver just doesn't quite work. It's also clearly very, very cold; you can almost always see the actors' breath on the air, even in some of the indoor shots. It looks really unpleasant, and distinctly uncomfortable. Couple that with the fact that the crew had just finished filming Seed and Postal back to back, and I'm guessing you don't end up with the most enthusiastic set in the world. I'm tempted to attribute the failure of the film entirely to tiredness and bad weather, but there's an even bigger problem than that. The script sucks.

For a change, it doesn't suck because it's incoherent. Actually, it's fairly straightforward: Billy the Kid wants to take over America, and he's waiting for a railway to be built to give him better access to more remote parts of the country. While he's waiting, he's enslaved the town of Deliverance by kidnapping all the children, forcing their parents to comply with his wishes. Rayne rolls into town and fights him. Job done. But there are some very odd choices made along the way which, somehow, take all the fun out of it.

See, for some reason, Billy the Kid isn't actually a cowboy. He's rubbish at gunfights, and ... he's from Transylvania. And that's never explained, it's just Zack Ward doing an accent. And standing around a lot, and never really doing anything that would make him genuinely scary. Usually, Zack Ward is good value in a movie, and he's actually the highlight of BloodRayne 2, but he's just not given enough to do. It needed to be better established that he's the Big Bad here; he needed to be given a threatening presence. But he wasn't. And if your villain's not scary, then it's really not very impressive when your hero overcomes him.

Which brings me to my next criticism: Natassia Malthe. Yes, she's very pretty. No, she can't act. She does a good line in rolling her eyes like a crazy person, but that's about it. Also, her corset doesn't fit properly, which takes away from the sexy somewhat. The complete and utter lack of action in the movie hurts Rayne's character, too, because she just doesn't do anything. No-one does anything. There are a whole bunch of random people walking around, and virtually none of them do anything, at any point. Chris Coppola's sole purpose in this movie seems to have been to stand in the background with his mouth open.

I hate that I didn't like this movie. Despite knowing about the circumstances surrounding its creation, I was still hopeful, because I love watching Zack Ward and I love Uwe Boll. But this ... was just boring. It needed more action, it needed more gore, and it needed scriptwriters who'd actually written a full-length movie (or at least watched some) before. It also, I think, needed to be filmed in summer. And maybe some bullet-time effects thrown in for good measure; it desperately needs to be livened up, one way or another.

Roll on Dungeon Siege, that's all I can say.

IMDB link

* I'm not the only one who gets excited when the credits include Michael Eklund, Tyron Leitso, and Zack Ward, right? Right?

1 comment:

Hex said...

As much cheesy fun as the first BloodRayne was, the whole time I was watching it I kept saying, "Somebody wake Michael Madsen up, he's dozed off again."

Seriously, in all of his non-fighting scenes you'd see him leaning against stuff or sitting down. I swear he was nodding off between takes.