Being the die-hard of Bloodrayne video game myself, I couldn't be more excited that there's a big-screen version for it. Then something is not right: the movie is directed by what I like to call "the king of video-game-into-movie stinker" Uwe Boll! His first two video game adaptation, HOUSE OF THE DEAD (2003) and ALONE IN THE DARK (2005) are downright laughable, uninspired and so dull that I still don't know how he's still survived in the Hollywood movie industry. But his third attempt is surprisingly better than his first two. Though BLOODRAYNE does shown that Boll has moved up a notch, the result remains ludicrous motion picture that is downright forgettable.
Set somewhere at the 18th-century Romania, it's a particular dark age where vicious king of all vampire, Kagan (Ben Kingsley) ruled the kingdom and also a time in which the ever-conflicted war between him and the vampire-hunting Brimstone Society, lead by three notable warriors, VIadimir (Michael Madsen), Sebastian (Matt Davis) and Katarin (Michelle Rodriguez). Enter Rayne (Kristanna Loken), the half-human, half-vampire daughter of Kagan who has been sold to a carnival freak show where she is witnessed by a crowd (water burns her skin and she heals from wounds instantly from a drink of fresh blood). Later she managed to escape and killed everybody in sight. Not soon after, she joined the three Brimstone warriors in which they agreed to cooperate each other to head for the Kagan's lair and destroy him once and for all. On the course of their journey, flashback occurs where the 5-year-old Rayne (Teona Galgotiu) witnessed the brutal murder of her mother (Daniela Nane) bitten and stabbed by Kagan. To complicate things further, there's a problem struck on Katarin's father, Elrich (Billy Zane), a nobleman who betrayed Brimstone to become a vampire and now has some new evil scheme up on his sleeve.
It's odd how a critically-acclaimed screenwriter Guinevere Turner who involved with 1994's cult indie GO FISH as well being the co-writer for 2000's AMERICAN PSYCHO can wind up such a sorry piece of work. The screenplay is awfully weak and unfocused, yet the pace is so lagging as if there isn't much story to tell other than we know it's a movie about Rayne's desperate quest to kill Kagan.
The actors, though blessed with known screen favorites are basically all phoned-in, disgraceful performances. Michael Madsen spends all the time looking half asleep; Michelle Rodriguez strolling her role uncomfortably in an unconvincing, forced European accent, while it's such a remarkable shame that Ben Kingsley is now and then further involved in such ill-fated project, for an obvious sake of easy paycheck. Here, he spends half of his time sitting on a throne, motionless and looking all lost while delivering his lines like reading out a textbook screenplay.
If anyone worth mentioning for, Kristanna Loken (of TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES fame) is physically plausible as Rayne, considering her ideal height and has enough magnetic sex appeal to make her the least standout to be watched for. The other one is Meat Loaf Aday, who is gamely over-the-top as the chubby vampire with an insatiable sexual appetite.
Granted, this $25 million production is obviously cheap-looking, and all the set and the production design are clearly belonged on a B-grade knockoff. The special effects are average-looking while the number of strong bloody violence isn't much justified for since the fight sequence are remarkably artless and yet poorly staged one can rarely tell what's going on.
Likewise, Uwe Boll's direction is pedestrian, throwing everything but the kitchen sink with all his tired usage of slow motion, blurs and among others without concrete result. The only difference is, this time he manages to use them sparingly but that hardly matter anyway since it's all shallow effort. If that's not insulting enough, he also included an out-of-the-place lovemaking scene between Rayne and Sebastian, which simply a lame excuse to showcase the slender-looking Loken exposing her beautiful breasts in a half-naked figure. Damn that Boll