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Rise: Blood Hunter

Rise: Blood Hunter stars Lucy Liu and Michael Chiklis.

In retrospect after viewing this movie, I realize that maybe the title should have been a tip off that perhaps this movie wouldn't be very good. But I thought I'd watch it anyway because one shouldn't judge a movie or a book by its title-- it just might surprise you. I'm good at judging a book pretty early on in the reading process, and if the writing or the story isn't good, I quickly jump ship. However, I've found that once I start a movie, I watch it to the conclusion unless it is just too weird.

Sadie (Liu), a journalist, lands her expose of the underground, 'undead,' goth teen party scene on the front page of the newspaper where she works. An informant gives her a phone number during the course of her investigation that instead turns out to be an IP address that leads her to an even deeper, darker, far more dangerous story. However, Sadie doesn't realize what she's blindly and unwittingly stumbled upon until it is too late. She is kidnapped, raped, and made undead by the leader of a bloody and brutal cult linked to the mysterious IP address passed to her by her informant. Sadie, made undead against her will, embarks upon a one woman revenge spree, determined to hunt down every last member in the chain of command of the cult involved with her abduction and brutal attack. She works her way up the chain to the leader who took away her life as she knew it.

In another storyline, Rawlins (Chiklis), a police detective whose daughter has been brutally murdered in a similar manner to Sadie by the same cult, is hot on a booze soaked trail of Sadie as she murders each cult member with her trusty cross bow. Rawlins has no idea about what his daughter was mixed up with until his path collides with Sadie's and the two cautiously and slightly improbably join forces to bring down the cult's leader.

The words hot mess came to mind in the middle of viewing this movie as an adequate description of its overall quality and structure. The characters are underdeveloped and saddled with clich├ęd and sub par dialog. The plot is underdeveloped, muddled, and hindered by the poorly used device of jumping backwards in the timeline to reveal parts of the story that occurred in the past. Liu is either a bad actress or grossly miscast in this movie and quite possibly both. This is a wannabe horror/action movie that never really brings either and when it does bring horror/action, it is poorly done.

Although the word vampire is never uttered in the movie, the movie's undead antagonists must drink blood to survive and have an aversion to sunlight. It is heavily implied that these undead are indeed vampires. The movie puts its own boring twist on its version of the vampire. However, just what a vampire is or isn't or where they came from or what makes a vampire is never explained. I think die hard vampire or horror genre fans will want to see this movie, while all others should steer clear.

This movie is coming soon to the Matthews Public Library


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