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Blood Out
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by brianorndorf

"Goss strikes again! (The other one)"
1 stars

The box art for “Blood Out” trumpets the participation of Val Kilmer, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, and Vinnie Jones, though these men are hardly in the film. The true star is actor Luke Goss, who’s built a career for himself as a poor man’s Jason Statham, accepting roles as a buzz-cut bruiser in a myriad of DTV product, working hard to look cool in motion pictures that are nearly comedic in their ineptitude -- the highly ludicrous “Blood Out” being the latest to join his career hall of shame.

An aggressive cop, Michael (Luke Goss) is devastated when he receives word of his gangbanging brother’s murder, occurring in the presence of crime boss Elias (Tamer Hassan). When the local detectives (Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson) blow off the investigation, Michael takes the law into his own hands, tatting himself up and pledging the same gang as his sibling, looking to work his way up the criminal ladder. Instead of achieving immediate retribution, Michael finds an elaborate network of evil activity, with Elias a mere stepping stone to the big bosses, Zed (Vinnie Jones) and Arturo (Val Kilmer), two men looking to take over the world with their communities of crooks and thugs. For Michael, his vengeful plan finds renewed urgency when he discovers his brother’s pregnant fiancée is caught in this horrible web of villainy.

There’s not an ounce of originality to “Blood Out,” and I think director Jason Hewitt knows it. Barreling forward as a monotonous DTV diversion, Hewitt orders up clichés and cameos to survive his directorial debut, creating a tedious actioner that toys with flashes of absurdity to create a personality it doesn’t otherwise possess.

“Blood Out” is a story of street gangs taking over the world. Instead of rough, young degenerates fulfilling every hip-hop fantasy imaginable, the script concerns the actions of a few fortysomething Caucasians who look like they’ve spend most of their day inside a gym, not terrorizing rival turf. Hewitt’s pushing for grit here, painting tattoos all over his cast and staging a beating about every ten minutes, using the warfare to sell some soundtracks, with “Blood Out” teeming with the worst rap music I’ve encountered in a film to date -- real gangsta slush with abysmal kindergarten lyrics that would make Afrika Bambaataa weep. It’s a routine of pain covered with hacky camerawork as well, with ample shaky-cam and useless split-screen stepping in for true directorial ambition, creating a pedestrian music video atmosphere that quickly torpedoes whatever integrity the script was planning to share.

And the feature’s sense of humor? Jackson plays a detective with the “G-Unit” squad. Yeesh.

“Blood Out” looks awful, it sounds repellent, and the acting is a hodgepodge of flared-nostril efforts, with everyone in the cast hoping to come across badass -- this extends to AnnaLynne McCord, here as Elias’s pet dominatrix and implausible gun-wielding soldier. Goss deserves some credit for trying, making a noticeable effort to infuse Michael with a sense of frustration as his efforts to resolve his brother’s death grow increasingly complicated. However, it’s hard to execute a genuine emotion with Hewitt reducing every scene to hackneyed mush, playing into genre clichés any chance he gets.

Just when “Blood Out” couldn’t possibly get sillier, Hewitt dives into the deep end with the grand finale, bringing in Arturo (Kilmer is understandably bored out of his mind) and Zed, who arrange a warehouse gladiatorial contest to decide the fate of the world’s gangs. Wow. I honestly didn’t see the resolution to “Blood Out” coming, which is a pleasant surprise. Too bad the jolt is burned off instantly, as Hewitt swiftly returns to his regularly scheduled business of utter moviemaking banality.

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originally posted: 05/27/11 23:37:29
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  N/A (R)
  DVD: 26-Apr-2011


  DVD: 26-Apr-2011

Directed by
  Jason Hewitt

Written by
  Jason Hewitt

  Luke Goss
  Val Kilmer
  Curtis Jackson
  Vinnie Jones
  Tamer Hassan
  AnnaLynne McCord

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