Friday, July 17, 2009

Manga Blood Makes The Last Vampire A Must See

Hollywood has given us their versions of many Foreign movies, some were great in it's original language, "Trust No One" was fantastic in French, "Let The Right One In" was superb in its original Swedish. Hollywood loves to either remake or to dupe Japanese movies and release them in America. Few of these hold it's original tension or beauty. The latest Foreign movie to get an American flavor is "Blood: The Last Vampire" a story of blood lust and revenge, a story of Vampires and their power to destroy and their lust for blood.

On the surface, Saya (Gianna Jun) is a stunning 16-year-old, but that youthful exterior hides the tormented soul of a 400-year-old half human half vampire, her sworn duty is to revenge her grand-father's murder at the hand of the vile creature she calls Onigen (Koyuki). Saya tracks down and kills the bottom feeders as they travel throughout the city, she wields her sword and kills these creature before they can turn into the creatures that their human form hides. Saya works for a mysterious Government Agency that supplies her with bottles of blood, so she won't have to hunt humans for her own energy source.

After tracking and killing such a creature Saya is told that a nearby military base is being used for a food source by vampires and that she is going to be placed into the bases school to try to find and destroy these creatures. Her first day at school is like every males idea of a Japanese school girl, she shows up in a short skirt knee high socks and a pixie look with pigtails. Using her superhuman strength and her sword, she begins to rid the base of its evil infestation in a series of spectacular and elaborate showdowns between her and these creatures. Making friends is hard for her, she doesn't want to trust anyone, but when she saves the life of Alice Mckee (Allison Miller) she is sworn to now protect this girl. Alice wants to help rid the base of these creatures, she has influence of course because her father is the bases commanding officer.

When Saya and Onigen have their fated run in, Saya is saddened to find out that the connection between the two is blood deep, it isn't just Saya's need for revenge that is developed here, it is a close bond that Saya must except before she is able to slay Onigen. The battle sequence looks more like a dream state than reality, Alice tries to help Saya, but is unable to, this is a fight only Saya can win, the blood lust is given into and Saya is able to emerge victorious.

The martial arts action is something the movie has in abundance, the plot is weak but is saved by the action that most of this manga's fan will love. The plot line moves right along so hold on tight, Blood has a lot to tell in a short time, this is one movie that doesn't slow down to take a deep breath. It goes and never stops until the credits roll. To make up for the lack of martial arts training of the movies stars, director Chris Nahon decided to spice things up a bit through extremely fast cuts, close ups, and a dash of time-lapse or slow motion here and there. Stylistically it may look gorgeous, but you become well aware that these were employed to mask short-comings in the action sequences, and this alone may be the one thing you remember, after all fans of this type of movie have seen it all before.

I give Blood: The Last Vampire a 3 and on my avoidance scale a 0, this is the movie that you can escape to and not regret it, it has action breaking out of the seams, plus it has plot and is plenty graphic. This is a movie that younger teens will enjoy as well as fanboys.

Blood: The Last Vampire is rated R for Strong Bloody Stylized Violence Running time is 1 hr. 29 mins.

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