opening in theaters: blood: the last vampire

Blood: The Last Vampire opens in select theaters today. The film marks the English-language debut of South Korean actress Jun Ji-hyun, of My Sassy Girl fame. For her leap to Hollywood, she's now simply credited as "Gianna." I caught a screening last week, and I regret to inform you... it's kind of awful.

The movie is based on Hiroyuki Kitakubo's hit anime of the same name, about a vampire "halfling" who has dedicated herself to destroying demons. It's sort of an odd production -- based on a Japanese anime, with a Chinese producer, a French director and a Korean star speaking English.

In some ways, demon-slaying Saya is the perfect role for Ms. Jun's stateside debut. She doesn't have a lot of lines, and pretty much is either kicking ass or standing around looking tough throughout the entire movie. She's perfectly fine, given the parameters of the character.

Unfortunately, that only gets you so far, and doesn't amount to a very good movie. There are so many things wrong with Blood, I don't know where to begin -- between the poor direction, awful script, dull action sequences and the laugh-out-loud bad special effects, there's very little to praise.

In short, it's a mess. I really wanted to like this movie, and Jun Ji-hyun really deserved a better project to show off her English acting chops. Too bad she got this. Here's an idea: save yourself the trouble and just rent and watch the original Japanese animated feature. Trust me, it's a lot more interesting.

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