BloodRayne

I was laughing even during the opening credits of BloodRayne. Perhaps that’s because I had a feeling that what I was about to get into wasn’t going to be Oscar winning work, although Ben Kingsley, an Oscar winner, does have a role in here as the main villain. There’s also a “special appearance” given by Billy Zane — which isn’t too special, by the way, considering he’s only in two scenes and then disappears for no reason — and other “known” actors like Michael Madsen, Michelle Rodriguez and … Meat Loaf all appear here as well.

Oh, and of course, there’s also Kristanna Loken, who plays the half-vampire, half-human lead, Rayne. She’s a Dhampir, a word that gets thrown around so frequently that if you don’t already know it, you will by the time our movie concludes. Her father is the vampire, an evil man named Kagan (Kingsley), and because he forced himself upon Rayne’s mother, later killing her, Rayne has decided to dedicate her life to putting an end to his. Why she begins the film as a captive in a circus is anyone’s guess. I figure it’s a cheap way to introduce her powers without giving us an action scene.

Eventually, she breaks free, which didn’t seem to be much trouble for her. All she had to do was cut some throats and she was pretty much free to go, despite passing out just a mile away from the camp afterward. If they really wanted to keep her, the people at the circus wouldn’t have had much trouble. They let her go, however, so that a group of people also wanting to kill Kagan can find her, and then they can all team up and attempt to take down the vampire together. The team consists of Vladimir (Madsen), Katarin (Rodriguez) and Sebastian (Matthew Davis, who becomes our love interest.

Some magical items get thrown in, Billy Zane gets a couple of scenes to ham it up, there are a sparse few action scenes, one big betrayal whose motivation I still can’t figure out, and before you know it, the film is playing its own highlight reel before finally coming to a close. Seriously, right before the end credits, you get to see a few minutes of the film, featuring some of the kills and some other random scenes that get thrown in just for the heck of it.

BloodRayne is a terrible movie, don’t get me wrong. It has been made by Uwe Boll, which should tell you a thing or two about this video game adaptation already. Yes, the acting is terrible, yes, the dialogue makes you want to cry to your English teacher about how people without writing skills can succeed in the world, and yes, not a whole lot of it makes sense. That comes with the territory.

Despite all that, I had some fun with BloodRayne. I know that’s blasphemy and I should feel bad or something, but this is one of those “so bad it’s good” movies that I just can’t help but enjoy. I like the badass vampire chick concept, I like seeing all of these fairly well-known actors either turning in lifeless performances (Madsen, Kingsley, Rodriguez), or hamming it up to the best of their abilities (Zane), and the action scenes were not actually all that bad. At least I could usually tell what was going on during them.

Okay, so it might not be at all like the games, but considering I haven’t actually played BloodRayne, the game, why should I care about that? And if you have played the video game, why would you want to see the same thing again? I’ve never understood the “it’s not like the source material” argument. The character is close enough, so I’m told, and the basic plot, while not set in the correct time period, is also similar. That’s all you really need, and considering not a whole lot of the film makes sense anyway, I don’t know why anyone would get truly upset about an unfaithful adaptation.

It’s a B-movie, complete with the excessive gore, the out-of-place sex, the terrible acting and the lackluster script. You’re not supposed to take this kind of thing seriously, and if you’re in the right mindset for it — if you want to enjoy a terrible movie late one night or with friends, for example — you might just find that BloodRayne will satisfy your desire, especially if you happen to be a fan of bad, bad movies.

The film does frequently go for too long without an action scene, which doesn’t help it out at all. When there is a twenty minute stretch of dialogue, something has gone wrong. When we do get to action scenes, they’re occasionally incomprehensible, but most of the time they’re about on-par with the quality of your average blockbuster. No worse, no better, and since we’re expecting worse, they actually come off as pretty good.

BloodRayne is not a good movie, but you can enjoy it regardless. I know that I ended up having a decent time with it, and if you enjoy B-movies or if you just want a film to laugh at with some buddies, this might be for you. It has laughable acting, a terrible script, a ton of blood, moderately entertaining action scenes, and while it may not be a direct translation from the video game sharing the same title, that shouldn’t matter to anyone. If for no other reason, watch it to see what actors sometimes have to do in order to get paid.

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