What a disaster.
It seems like it should be a good idea… wait, no, it doesn’t. The only time Blood: The Last Vampire works is when it’s a homoerotic romance between Jun Ji-hyun and Allison Miller. The film never recognizes this element, but there’s so much of it, it must have occurred to someone. Jun plays the tortured half-human, half-demon who desperately tries to attain humanity and Miller’s the girl who loves her for it. It’s no different, in the way it plays, than any vampire or werewolf or demon movie with the Romeo and Juliet thing going on.
And it works on that level.
The rest of it is a mess. The script’s awful, the cast is the finest mediocre British actors playing American I can think of (it’s like if the British produced Sci-Fi original movies).
The direction’s occasionally solid. The fight scenes are well choreographed and never too self indulgent. To work, one has to be interested in seeing Jun defeat a bunch of demons. And it does work.
Jun’s a famous (and excellent) Korean actress and Blood‘s her English-language debut. When she isn’t talking, just acting, she’s good. When she’s protective of Miller, she’s good. When they’ve got her talking, it never quite works.
There’s also the seventies setting. It’s a cool idea, but the film doesn’t really do anything with it.
And the end, when the film really could turn around with the big handholding, hug or kiss, really bombs.
Directed by Chris Nahon; screenplay by Chris Chow, based on the character created by Kamiyama Kenji and Tereda Katsuya; director of photography, Poon Hang-Sang; edited by Marco Cavé; music by Clint Mansell; production designer, Nathan Amondson; produced by William Kong and Abel Nahmias; released by Samuel Goldwyn Films.
Starring Jun Ji-hyun (Saya), Allison Miller (Alice Mckee), Liam Cunningham (Michael), JJ Feild (Luke), Koyuki (Onigen), Yasuaki Kurata (Kato Takatora), Larry Lamb (General Mckee), Andrew Pleavin (Frank Nielsen), Michael Byrne (Elder), Colin Salmon (Powell), Masiela Lusha (Sharon), Ailish O’Connor (Linda) and Constantine Gregory (Mr. Henry).