deadliest assassin to stand the test of time. From the makers
of Hero and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
comes Blood: The Last Vampire, based on the cult hit anime
series. Demons have infested Earth. And only one warrior stands
between the dark and the light: Saya (Gianna Jun), a half-human,
half-vampire samurai who preys on those who feast on human
blood. Joining forces with the shadowy society known as the
Council, Saya is dispatched to an American military base,
where an intense series of swordfights leads her to the deadliest
vampire of all. And now after 400 years, Saya's greatest hunt
is about to begin.
As viewers, how do you spot a bad production?
Is it the cheesy special effects? The haphazard ending? The
terrible acting and storyline? I guess as much.
Spearheaded by famed producer Bill Kong (Hero,
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon), Blood: The Last Vampire tells
the story of Saya (Gianna Jun), a half-vampire-half-human
who works with a mysterious organization called the Council
to eliminate vampires who are living among the humans. Saya’s
main motive is to destroy her biggest enemy, Onigen (Koyuki),
the oldest and most powerful vampire of all and also the one
who manipulate and killed her father.
Written by Chris Chow (Fearless) and directed
by French helmer, Chris Nahon (Kiss of the Dragon), Blood:
The Last Vampire is a half-baked take on the human vs vampire
genre. While the original material is a 45 minutes anime short
film, the movie adaptation fares no matter in fleshing out
the characters and storyline in the 89 minutes running time.
Despite having Korean starlet (from My Sassy
Girl), Jun Ji-hyun renamed Gianna for the international markets,
Japanese veteran martial-arts actor Yasuaki Kurata and SK-II
spokesperson/actress Koyuki in the lead roles, Blood: The
Last Vampire fails to impress with its filmsy story-telling
and paper-thin characters. A young white character by the
name of Alice has no place in this movie but here she is as
sort of a disposable sidekick to Saya. And what is the role
of the Council and all their mysterious agents? It seems the
script has no further exposition on them except drabbing them
in shades, trenchcoats and guns. What is so terrifying about
Onigen then? All we can say is Koyuki looks ravishing in that
white dress and kimono at the end of the day.
Every item on Blood: The Last Vampire’s
checklist went wrong including the MTV-style quick cuts, slow-mo
and frenetic cinematography that defeats the daunting stuntwork
puts in by Gianna and Corey Yuen’s action choreography.
The creature and visual effects were such a big letdown that
it looks laughingly bad when the vampire turns into something
that looks like a hybrid of a man-in-suit and the swamp creature.
And wait, there’s the bat-creature-attacking-a-truck
scene which reeks as the one seen in Underworld Evolution
be honest, the first 30 minutes was at least bearable to me
and yes even the copious amount of CG blood that will make
any blood donation drive goes wild. But when the plot and
the various concepts that make the movie works went nowhere,
it’s high time for Gianna to hang up her katana and
slip back to rom-coms and Jun Ji-hyun perhaps.
The Making of segments is spilt into 1 and 2. Running
almost 30 minutes altogether, it consist mainly behind-the-scenes
footages and interviews with the cast and crew. The second
segment which is far more interesting focuses more on Gianna’s
stunts and training.
make up for the lackluster VFX, the Dolby Digital 5.1 on the
other hand is fantastic with solid sound effects and as spoken
in the review the visual looks pathetic even on the small
screen especially the truck-rolling-down-the-hill sequence.
Review by Linus Tee
Posted on 25 January 2010