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Movie review: ‘In the Blood’ is high on action, low on development

In the Blood

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Grade: B+

'In the Blood'
Anchor Bay Films

With “Haywire,” Gina Carano showed critics and moviegoers that she can kick some serious butt. Her dialogue and acting kind of lacked, but most people seemed to forgive her for it. “In the Blood,” which releases to limited theaters; VOD; and iTunes on April 4, kind of suffers from the same thing. But with this new feature, Carano shows that she wants to expand more on her career as an actress.

Carano plays Ava, a newlywed whose husband (Cam Gigandet) goes missing while the couple are on their honeymoon in Puerto Rico. When she discovers that the people with her are lying about her husband’s whereabouts, she sets out on a solo journey to find him. Little do these people know that Ava is a tough woman, who was trained by her father (Stephen Lang, seen in flashbacks) to take care of herself when that time came.

In the Blood” forces Carano to reach a little deeper with her character this time around. While she can take care of herself in a fight, the thought of losing her husband on their honeymoon is devastating. And to make matters worse, her new father-in-law (Treat Williams) really doesn’t like her. So, this whole newly married thing hasn’t been as great as she was hoping, and it sort of turns her into an emotional mess.

Like “Haywire,” “In the Blood” is more about Carano’s ability to show off some fascinating fighting skills. She doesn’t disappoint in that department. And director John Stockwell captures them well, especially in the opener, when she faces off against Danny Trejo in a nightclub. Some of the scenes are a little too shaky, though, and may be a turn off for some.

But, just like “Haywire,” it lacks in character development and emotions. It’s kind of hard to care for Gigandet, when he’s barely in it. Trejo comes in at the beginning, disappears, and then reappears at the end. He’s always a pleasure to watch, but it would have been great to have more of him. And then there’s Luis Guzman, who plays the local cop. He does well with his limited time, too.

The lack of development is forgivable, though, with the incredible action scenes. This makes “In the Blood” a fun revenge flick, and is more proof that Carano is on her way to being the next big action star.

Check out the Chico Movie Examiner’s exclusive interview with Gina Carano.

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