He's laying down his badge to lay down the law.
Luke Goss (Mercenary for Justice, Death Race 2, Tekken) plays Michael Spencer, a Sheriff in a small town who learns that his brother David has been killed by a gang for wanting out. Not receiving any help from the city authorities on the case, Michael throws in his badge and positions himself as a thug without a gang to call home (ala Raw Deal) so that he can get to his brother's killer. He also discovers that his brother's widowed girlfriend is a habitual drug user and sister to one of the members of David's gang, as well as pregnant with his child. Michael advances the ranks of the gang whilst also taking out other scum on the streets from rival gangs in the area, but always keeping his eye on the prize - gang leader Elias who ordered the kill on his brother.
First thing's first; this is a serious bait-and-switch movie. If you are here to see Vinnie Jones, Val Kilmer or for some reason Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson you are going to leave this film sorely disappointed. The DVD cover (shown here) has 50 Cent right up the front, with Vinnie Jones to his left, Val Kilmer porking it up behind him and Luke Goss - the star of the film - sticking his head out in the rear. Honestly this kind of cover is just false advertising and should be subject to the same rules and regulations as a retail outlet TV advertisement. "Buy this couch for $199 today" then when you get to the shop they never had any in the first place, but would you be interested in this one for $499? It's just not cricket.
Jones is only in the first ten minutes and has one scene when he starts the ball rolling by executing Michael's younger brother David, a member of Elias's (Tamer Hassan) gang who controls the North American region. He's not seen again until the final fight where he gets a handful more lines. 50 Cent has one scene as the lazy and arrogant cop Hardwick who refuses to follow up the case of David's death and tazers Michael for pushing him - he does appear briefly later though I won't spoil that.
And Val Kilmer.. well, he finally turns up in the last act as rival gang leader for the South American region, Arturo, and his "presence" certainly fills the screen. The guy has stacked on more kilos than Seagal ever did and he really, really needs a haircut. He chews the scenery with glee, walking with a cane with ivory handle and spouting dramatic lines of prose from invocation The Rite of Mars. The less said about his involvement in the movie the better, though you will laugh yourself silly when he's on screen, just liked in Hardwired.
With that out of the way, I did enjoy this movie. It was filmed in that modern hyperactive way but the fights were clearly visible, just shaky. Luke Goss did a terrific job as a vigilante cop infiltrating a gang and truly is the movie's saving grace. He was very believable and looked the part when he got tattooed and chain-smoked. This is definitely a good role for him and reminds me of Jason Statham quite a bit, both in character and in build. The opening five minutes was pretty weird though and left me wondering where this film was going. Michael heads up a drug-bust that goes bad when one of the bad guys holds a little girl hostage. Michael doesn't see the girl and fires, killing both man and hostage. The next scene you would expect to see him getting raked over the coals, his badge taken away and put on suspension, but instead the Captain gives a "Good job today everyone, no-body killed." speech. Michael asks "What about the girl?" to which the Captain replies "Collateral damage." What the hell? It's also never referenced again and is not a catalyst for any other part of the movie. There's a few other "why is this here?" scenes as the movie progresses, like the S&M stuff.
Other worthy mentions are Tamer Hassan (Layer Cake, Unleashed, 7 Seconds) as gang leader Elias who plays the role convincingly without going over the top (unlike Val Kilmer who orders his girls to "Dance!" while on a phone call from his pool side reclining chair). A real star here was Ed Quinn (TV's Eureka), a "nice" thug that befriends Michael and is brother to David's ex-girlfriend. He tries to get her cleaned up and he also has a strong sense of loyalty to Michael which is one of the film's best chemistries, far better than the thrown-in-because-we-have-to-have it sex scene between Michael and one of Elias' (hot) female lieutenants and keen sadomasochists (the gorgeous AnnaLynne McCord, also in 50 Cent / Val Kilmer vehicle "Gun").
I won't give it away but there is a fantastic moment right on the one hour twenty-minute mark where Michael is involved with a car crash. Notice I didn't say IN a car crash, but with, as in the cause of it. I had to watch it in slow-motion three times to make sure I was seeing it right but the scene is one of the most ridiculous I have ever seen, right up there with Steven Seagal decapitating Japanese businessmen from the third story of a building in Out For a Kill.
This is Director Jason Hewitt's first film, although he has produced many DTV films in recent years - Cabin Fever 2 and Wrong Side of Town stand out the most to me. He did a pretty reasonable job, though he would do well to put the camera on a freaking tripod every now and then. You could get motion sickness watching too many modern DTV movies. Overall Blood Out is a pretty decent vigilante-revenge action movie with a few silly sub-plots and needless scenes, but with a straight-shooting main plot with enough shoot-outs and fights to keep you interested throughout it's not-overlong 85 minute runtime. And you get to laugh at Val Kilmer's hair to boot.
Video was sharp and clear though strangely enough appeared to be incorrectly framed. The DVD is presented in scope at 2.35:1 ratio which, on occasion, leaves you looking at talking necks, not heads. It was clearly meant to be full-frame 16:9. It's a little distracting to be honest. Sound is fine though quiet. Runtime 85 minutes.
A new release rental DVD.