2006's BloodRayne, the videogame-inspired story of a half-human / half-vampire hottie bent on revenge and starring Kristanna Loken in the title role, was cheesy fun with lots of bad acting and unintentional humor. There were some decent action sequences and good fight choreography. The follow-up is a more assured, and ultimately better, film by contrast — but it's lacking in creativity and excitement. Its influences — namely the westerns of Sergio Leone, HBO's Deadwood, and the Hammer vampire films — are unmistakable, but the end result is more amateur than auteur.
Beautiful but empty-eyed Natassia Malthe now plays the red-haired Rayne, and the action is set about a century after the original movie ended. The supernatural sex-kitten has traded in her suede seven-leagues for hip-hugging chaps and a six-shooter, plunked herself in the middle of the wild, wild west and gone on a hell-bent for leather quest to quell a blood-sucking Billy The Kid (Zack Ward). Her sidekick is card-carrying Brimstone Society member Pat Garrett (Michael Paré), and her foil is a thrill-seeking newspaper reporter named Newton Piles (Chris Coppola).
So begins the chase, punctuated by some clumsy Tonino Delli Colli-copied tight close-ups and long shots, and underscored by mugging vampiric antics even Christopher Lee would have curled his lip at.
I will admit that BloodRayne 2: Deliverance is perhaps the best effort to date from the tight-knit crew of videogame adaptors Uwe Boll (director), Mathias Neumann (cinematographer), and Dan Clarke (producer). Also, the thesping is not half-bad (which unfortunately leaves less room for laughs like we got last year from BloodRayne's Sir Ben Kingsley and Meat Loaf).
The DVD has director's commentary, extended and deleted scenes, a digital comic book, and talking-head style interviews with Boll and his cast. The second disk contains the BloodRayne PC Game. Boll's commentary is relatively smart and engaging, but eventually even he runs out of praise for the flick and actors, and there are many moments of nothing but long silence towards the end. He should have been paired up with actor Ward, who has a natural quick wit and genuine sense of humor — but no matter: the heavily made-up Ward is featured a'plenty in the making-of doc, and he's quite convincing in his passion for the project.
Not quite bad enough to be good, and not quite good enough to bother watching all the way through, in the end BloodRayne 2: Deliverance doesn't deliver on any level.
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Reviewed by Staci Layne Wilson