|Star:||Adrian Paul, Bai Ling, Bokeem Woodbine, Péter Halász, James Booth|
|Cert / Year:||18 - R / 2001|
NSA (dodgy KGB styled "police force" of the future totalitarian state) agent Steven Grant (Bokeem Woodbine) is reluctantly assigned a new partner after his partner is brutally slain on a bust by a vampire. Grant is stunned to learn that his new partner Aaron Grey (Adrian Paul) IS a vampire, but a vampire cop and he has been partnered with him in order to track down a "renegade" vampire that is attempting to sabotage an as yet secret co-existance agreement between the humans and the vampires. With heavy political pressure upon the two differing "cops" they must get results and stop the mysterious renegade before irrepairable damage is done to human / vampire relations before they begin. The powers that be...namely the NSA, plan to slowly integrate vampires into society with little fuss which is why the current agreement is still secret. Chasing shadows and with little to go on, Grant and Grey struggle to find anything tangible but with the invaluable help of Lucy (Bai Ling) an exotic and alluring vampire, Grant and Grey begin to question just who are the good guys and who are the bad guys.......
The general direction by Michael Oblowitz is dissappointing and lacks the weight or punch to do this story justice. Over zealous use of a smoke machine is rife, as is the ridiculous chase scene photography. Cringe worthy moments pop up all too often and thats not counting the silly, spinny fly by wire crap which attempts to Matrix-ize the movie rendering it somewhat laughable. A couple of the special effects are quite good and are effective, but unfortunately these are overshadowed by the horrendously obvious CGI and poor action choreography. A couple of scenes appear like mini-homages to the likes of Cronenberg, Argento and Raimi at one point but in this mish mash of a movie they are easily lost against the Brazil-esque backdrop to the film.
The character names are either blatant rip offs or clever tips of the hat to various other classic genre movies. Prime examples which hit you straight off the bat would be Lucy Westenra and John Seward or Lucy Westerna and Dr. Seward in Dracula not to mention Graf Orlock which was also the name of the Dracula inspired character in Nosferatu. Either way this practice has backfired on this film as it pulls the viewer toward the "unoriginal idea - rip off classic movie" feel during watching this film. Thankfully as a modern vampire movie this isn't quite as bad as Razor Blade Smile. But being brutally honest the whole buddy flick/cop thing featuring two different species has been done far better before, namely in Alien Nation. On the whole the pairing of Woodbine and Paul fails badly and the "detective work" they undertake stretches the story tenuously to it's limits.
The story is basically a spin on the Nazi holocaust angle with the Jews now being depicted by the vampires and the Nazi party are the NSA who govern the land with an iron fist. Thrown into the "polt" mix is a typical "fifth column" angle and counter revolutionary, political yawn-fest which just doesn't work at all. Every now and again the audience is "treated" to a computer readout of a "dossier" or file on some of the vampire protagonists, why exactly only the film makers know. I have to admit they are damned annoying and have no bearing whatsoever on the "plot" such as it is.
Adrian Paul hams up his performance performance which results in another "turkey" on his painful track record of absolute "cheese". Bokeem Woodbine growls, swears and vocally grates his way through the film to painful proportions as his character resembles a strange combination of Humphrey Bogart meets Boyz N The Hood, which is a dodgy fusion if ever there was one! Bai Ling is her typically unsettling, attractive and alluring self.....in a strange yellow and red contact lens, flesh baring, blood sucking kind of way. Of all the cast in this movie it is probably only her that has come out of this experience with a modicum of dignity, which is saying something.
The World War II flashbacks are disorientating and seemingly pointless to begin with but over relied upon throughout the film. A poor excuse for a horror movie which despite clinging to some of the old elements of the vampire myths has the creatures of the night merrily walking around in sunlight. Most of the vampires also have the obligatory Transylvanian accent and even manage to look cliche as both vampires and as dissidents. This shoddily put together piece is a painful attempt at modern horror. The "near future" of the film sees everybody living in Budapest and driving old cars, not to mention dressing like extras in Casablanca. I'm afraid that although this isn't unrepentantly dreadful, it is quite bad in a TV movie kind of way.
|1.85:1 Anamorphic||Generally good quality image|
|Dolby Digital 5.1||Reasonable quality but nothing gripping|
|Dull/boring static menu|
|Commentary track by Adrian Paul and director Michael Oblowitz|
|Set of 4 trailers|
|Rather boring disc really, but after watching the film I don't think that you would be particuarly bothered. Better movies and better discs out there.|