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May 5, 2014

Movie Review: In the Blood (2014)

There seems to be a genre of action films in which the main character used to be some tough badass, and right as they're turning a new leaf to become a kinder, gentler them, someone they love disappears, and they have to return to their former badassery. In the Blood is no exception. In a flashback to start the movie, young Ava is taught how to be tough by her dad. She's also taught to be an emotionless stiff with a mind for killing. Really, it's what any dad would do. Look for my daughter the robot in a few years. Anyway, we come to present day, when Ava is about to walk down the aisle and marry Derek, the son of a wealthy douchebag (Treat Williams) who assumes that Ava is nothing but a gold digger. This might have to do with the fact that the happy couple met in drug rehab.

The couple weds and heads off to an exotic Caribbean vacation to a house owned by Derek's family. At a local restaurant, they're befriended by a young guy named Manny, who promises to take the couple ziplining. I'm going to let you guess what happens next. Got it yet? Come on, it's not that hard. There you go. Something goes wrong on the zipline. Derek's hook snaps, and though Manny tries to save him, he crashes through the trees, breaking his leg. For some reason, the ambulance drivers won't let Ava ride along, and she loses them on the way to the hospital. This is when, as the kids say, shit gets real.

There's something I forgot to mention. In between meeting Manny and ziplining, Manny took the newlyweds to a night club, where a guy named Big Biz, played by Danny Trejo, tries to dance with Ava. Things turn bad, and Ava kicks the unholy ba-friggin-Jesus out of about forty people. This is when I looked at our thick-necked heroine and wondered if she was one of those MMA ladies. Guess what? It's the one and only Gina Carano. This is the first time I've seen her act, and, well, she's a great action star. Remember Stallone in his early days? It's like that. Good with action, and serviceable for the rest, but she fits here. I don't like The Transporter for its tear-jerking moments. I like it because Statham kicks people in the nuts. Point made? Good.

Ava deals with a slew of terrible bastards, from the police chief played in a dark and uncaring way by Luis Guzman to the ambulance driving kidnappers. One of my favorite things in the movie is Amaury Nolasco, who plays thug boss Lugo. You've seen Nolasco all over the place. Trust me. He's perfectly heartless and just a bit sympathetic. Not to spoil anything, but he's involved with something that I'm pretty sure bucks actual science. You'll see.

Either way, In the Blood starts off a little slowly, but once Derek disappears, it escalates quickly. You have to be patient with this one. The action is well worth your time. By the end, you'll find yourself siding with Ava and waiting to see what she does next. Give it a watch.

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