[Welcome back to the Evolution of Video Game Movies series. Every week, I will be moving forward through time, starting with the earliest and ending with the most recent of video game movies. I will be detailing the histories of the games and how the films came about, and both my and fan reaction to the adaptations. Practically all of my background information is either common knowledge or from Wikipedia. So without further ado, let's move on to the next film on the list.]
This is going to be a short history. I reviewed the first film and discussed the history of the series here. There's no reason to talk about any of the other games, since this film is not related to any of them. Hell, it's hardly related to the first movie which this is a sequel to. But on the upside, it's still directed by Uwe Boll! And unlike the last one, I'd actually never seen this one prior to now. So let's take a gander, shall we?
the review of Seed. It's by far the worst of his I've seen, and one of the worst films I've seen in my life (and I've seen bad). Now, all of that being said... BloodRayne 2: Deliverance... is easily Boll's 2nd worst film (that I've seen thus far).
Here's the best plot I can give you: We're in the wild west, and a reporter named Newton (Chris Coppola) comes in to town to hopefully get an exciting story to tell. And he kind of gets that when Transylvanian-born vampire outlaw Billy the Kid (Zack Ward) comes in to town and kidnaps all the kids, including young Sally (Jodelle Ferland), so that he can make a vampire army to send out onto the trains that will soon be coming through town. But all is thrown into disarray when Rayne (Natassia Malthe, taking over for Kristanna Loken) comes into town. After a scuffle, Rayne is helped by a man named Muller (Brendan Fletcher) and finds she has to team up with a band of gunslingers herself, including Pat Garrett (Michael Pare), The Preacher (Michael Eklund), and Franson (Michael Teigen). Together, they might just have a chance at standing up to Billy the Kid and saving all the children.
I guess we'll start with everything that doesn't make sense... which is everything. I'm no historian, and I know movies aren't meant to be taken as 100% factual (that's thrown out the window anyway when you have Billy the Kid as a vampire from Transylvania), but... come on. If you're going for a western, you could have at least gotten the feel of it down. Then there's the whole explanation of why he's kidnapping kids. According to one of the characters (and I'm paraphrasing slightly), "He needs to keep things looking normal until the train comes in! That's why he's taking kids hostage." Yes, because killing people on the streets, kidnapping kids, and holding them hostage will definitely let him blend in. There are places where there's absolutely no snow... and then the next scene has tons of snow... and the scene after that has no snow, etc. It's like the film can't make up its mind on what season it wants to be in. And let's not forget how every person in existence in the wild west knows of the existence of vampires, and even if they didn't, they aren't shocked in the least to hear it and are more than willing to do something about it if called upon.
One of the biggest issues this film has is pacing, though. Uwe Boll can't pace for shit here. For instance, Rayne doesn't even show up in this movie until 17 minutes in. That's about a quarter of the movie! You can't keep your main character out of the film that long--regardless of how dull she is. I mean, about halfway in, there's even a sequence that lasts about 20-30 seconds of two Native Americans canoeing down a river... for no reason. They're not characters in the movie. We never saw them before. We never see them again. It's not even a tracking shot for the camera to pan away from them to our main characters. It's just... there. And then, dear God, there's the third act. You have maybe a 5-10 minute sequence here, at best... and it's stretched out to 30 painfully dull minutes. Because, essentially, there are 3 things going on. You have Newton and the townspeople deciding on fighting back for the kids. Then you have Preacher and Franson standing with guns on them, preparing to turn and fire. And then you have Rayne in a barn, holding on to a rope to stop some of the kids from being hung (she sprung a trap), and Billy is there monologuing. They interweave these moments together, which is fine. But the pacing is so painfully off that it gets ridiculous. There are seriously moments of nothing happening and just people standing still for chunks of time. All the while, any realistic situation would have shot at Preacher and Franson for not dropping their weapons as ordered, or at Rayne for not just doing what she does anyway after standing there for 20 minutes.
Now, this was made the same year as Seed, which is pretty obvious. First of all, they share actors (Michael Pare, Jodelle Ferland, Michael Eklund). And I'll get to the acting in just a minute. But it also shares Boll's sudden fascination with having us not being able to see a God Damn Thing. He can't light for shit in this movie, and considering the majority of the film is at night, you really need to be able to light well. I could never tell what was going on, who was doing what, etc. That really didn't help with getting to know characters or following any of the action that there was (and there wasn't much. And of the action there was... it sucked).
OK, now for the actors. Natassia isn't a great Rayne, either; but where she differs from Ms. Loken is that Loken was dull, and Natassia is... weak. She's not frightening or vicious or intimidating, even when she's trying to be. Michael Pare was decent, though. I really have nothing bad to say about him. But there actually was a part of this movie that really bugged me at the time, though it went away when other characters were introduced. It started with Brendan Fletcher, who I think can actually be a pretty good actor (he's what really sells Rampage). But he's introduced, gives some exposition... and then dies about 3 minutes later. And during the whole execution sequence, we're introduced to a bat-shit crazy Sheriff (at least I think he was Sheriff) who was hilariously over-the-top. And then he dies like 2 minutes later. I was literally like "Dammit, Boll! Stop killing off the only interesting characters right after you introduce them!" But then we got the introduction of Michael Eklund as The Preacher. This was easily the best part of the movie, and arguably the only good scene in the movie. And it's kinda funny, considering I found Michael Eklund to be one of the few shining stars of another piece of crap movie called The Divide, which came out much more recently. Anyway, I strongly urge you to check out this scene... it's really a lot of fun. Just watch below.
So basically Boll did the worst thing possible with this movie. With a couple scene exceptions, this film is painfully boring. None of it shares any of the campy or weird charm of the first film. The pacing is way off, and there is a lot that could have been fixed with just a better editor. And he needed to learn how to light a damn set. As usual, actors are wasted, the script is terrible, and all logic is tossed out the window. It didn't anger me to the level Seed did, but it really aggravated me nonetheless. So with that, I'll leave you with what is actually the last line in the movie--no joke. "Life is like a penis: when it's hard, you get screwed; when it's soft, you can't beat it."
The Zed Word
(P.S. And it barely got that rating. The sad thing? Knowing I have one more BloodRayne movie to sit through... and three more Boll.)