A wife goes through hell and back to find her husband in this action packed follow up to Haywire for former mixed martial arts champion Gina Carano.
As a teenager, Ava watched her father, a local drug lord, killed by two robbers with her retaliating by killing the robbers. Twelve years later, she has been recovering from her addictions with drugs and alcoholism and she attends Narcotics Anonymous. There, she meets Derek Grant, a fellow recovering addict who takes to Ava. Together, they both overcome their addictions and celebrate by getting married.
On their honeymoon, things start out fine until at a local nightclub, they accidentally come across antagonizing Big Biz, a local crime figure. However, things go from bad to worse when the next day, during a day of ziplining, Derek’s zipline breaks, causing him to fall. To make things worse, Ava cannot find Derek. During an investigation, Ava learns Derek is missing and things just don’t add up and she comes upon the discovery that Derek may not have survived. Convinced, Ava begins to hunt those possibly responsible for Derek’s disappearance.
Making a huge impact first in the ring as a mixed martial arts champion before transitioning to the entertainment industry, Gina Carano is becoming a force to reckon with. After a brief appearance in Blood and Bone, her lead role debut in Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire was written just for her and allowed her to unleash her fighting skills well to film. This follow-up has some surprising moments but gives her a chance to show more of an emotionally charged performance of an unhinged wife hellbent on revenge to track down her husband.
What is great about the film is that Carano’s character of Ava is flawed from the opening of the film. From being forced to struggle with her addictions, perhaps as a result of her forced traumatic event involving her dad, played in flashbacks by Avatar’s Stephen Lang, and eventually overcoming those addictions with the help of future husband Derek, played by Cam Gigandet. Once Ava’s happiness is cut short, she doesn’t rely on her addictions, something one would expect. However, she becomes hellbent on finding out the truth and exacting revenge if necessary.
Aside from Gigandet’s limited appearance as Derek, Danny Trejo makes some sort of impact as Big Biz, a local crime lord whose wrath Ava faces on a few occasions. However, the question of the film is whether Biz is responsible for the disappearance of Derek. The question becomes more of whether Ava is able to track down her husband and goes through every great length including finding a potential ally in Manny, played by Ismael Cruz Cordova. However, what is great that when Carano is ready to fight, then she’s ready to throw down, unleashing the skills the make her a champion. They may be limited compared to Haywire but still exciting to see nonetheless.
In the Blood is not a bad Gina Carano-led action thriller. The film allows her to both show an emotional side of things along with her penchant to unleashing mayhem with her fighting skills.
WFG RATING: B-
Anchor Bay Films presents a Verso Entertainment production in association with Lleju Productions, Derby Street Films, Pimienta, The Way We Roll Productions, and Movie Package Company. Director: John Stockwell. Producers: Shaun Redick, Raymond Mansfield, and Marina Grasic. Writers: James Robert Jonhston and Bennett Yellin. Cinematography: Pedro Juan Lopez. Editing: Lucas Eskin and Doug Walker.
Cast: Gina Carano, Cam Gigandet, Ismael Cruz Cordova, Danny Trejo, Luis Guzman, Amaury Nolasco, Stephen Lang, Treat Williams, Yvette Yates Redick, Eloise Mumford, Hannah Cowley.