Monday, December 21, 2009

Blood: The Last Vampire

First of all, I haven't seen this film's source material, which is the anime movie of the same name. Now, let's get straight to the point. This vampire action flick could have been way better. However, this film's problem is its short length, the lack of margin of manoeuvre for the cast and its excessive focus on sword fights.

Since the 16th century, Japan has been a feeding ground for demons. They live among mortals by physically passing off as human beings. Now, let's fast forward to the 1970s: Saya (Gianna Jun), the last being of human and vampire extraction on Earth, has lived as a loner for 400 years with one purpose. She seeks to kill all vampires, especially Onigen (Koyuki), the highest ranking and strongest vampire. Besides, Saya works for a secret organization known as "The Council". The latter sends her around the world to kill vampires and then she gets from it her needed dose of blood.

Afterwards, "the Council" arranges her enrolment at an American school near the Yokota Air Base, which is under U.S. command. Obviously, "The Council" sees it as an occasion for Saya to kill the vampires who attend the school and also to lure Onigen out of her hiding. Since she saved Alice McKee (Allison Miller), the daughter of an American general, from a myriad of vampires, a bond between both of them buds. Besides, it also leads Alice to try to help Saya in her quest.

Honestly, one might feel that this film is a blockbuster dish that is best appreciated with the brain turned off. Of course, Gianna Jun is far to be impressive in the fight scenes since she's not a martial artist by trade. However, the fighting scenes are okay even though I've heard some people complaining about the constant use of slow motions. The only problem that I had is that the CGI geysers of blood look so much like stones.

Other than that, the storyline seriously has a problem because of its short length and its focus on fights. By being like that, the story, which is interesting on paper, keeps us at an arm's length. As a matter of fact, both the characters of Saya and Alice are stripped from any psychological complexity. In all fairness, non-initiated people and initiated ones alike will have a hard time trying to understand Saya's surprising ability to control her violent thirst for blood (unlike other vampires) and by extension her care for humanity (if she has any).

Finally, to get to the bottom line, Blood: The Last Vampire is just a film that could have been better. Would a budget way higher than $16 million have allowed this film to have a better production value? Definitely. However, the problem with this film is that it throws in two competent - albeit unknown - actresses, Gianna Jun and Allison Miller, who are wasting their time because their characters are so flat. Of course, this is due to the very thin script.

Rating: 1/5

Origin:Hong Kong/Japan/France (2009)
Length:91 minutes
Screenplay:Chris Chow
Director:Chris Nahon
Starring:Gianna Jun, Allison Miller, Liam Cunningham and Koyuki

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