This is the live action version of of the excellent cult Japanese Anime/Manga Blood The Last Vampire which came out around 2000. The film follows a half human and half vampire Saya working sort of with a ancient group called “council” and her only aim is devoting herself to hunt and slay the vampires that live amongst us mortal humans. But her devotion is totally aimed one demon, the oldest and most powerful the Onigen who believes killed her father when she was a young girl.
The whole film is set during 1970’s in Tokyo Japan and the slaying brings her to a US Army base in the city and she is enrolled as a schoolgirl (even though she is playing a 400 year old hunter in reality she 28 year woman been a 17year old schoolgirl, mmm one for the pervs in a her sailor school uniform) as soldiers are been knocked off. Ever wondered if Archie Peggy Mitchel from Eastenders estranged new hubby is still under some slab in the vic? NO he’s in this playing General Mckee the Army Base’s general and making an arse of himself with a dodgy American accent and some carboard style acting not seen in British shores since Crossroads. Guess what even Corrie gets a say in this, Ted Page Gail Platt’s Gay Dad has made a full recovery from his Heart attack due to the house break in to appear as a Elder.
Dont expect Oscar winning performances, move aside some cheesy and questionable acting along with a generic revenge story this is actually a fun action packed movie with some wonderfully choreographed fight scenes brought you by Corey Yuen (The good bits , the fight scenes from Transporter movies as well some Jet Li flicks) and Bill Kong (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon). The best of the bunch was the amazing but brutal forest fight scene with Kato, Saya’s mentor and old friend of her father when the old man takes on loads of ninja’s and ends up in something that would look right in place with pinhead in a hellraiser movie, the whole scene was something you expect from a classic chinese/Martial arts movie. The other scenes where the Alley way scene fight and the also the big end scene when Saya finally meets Onigen.
I was a little upset never saw much of Onigen played by the very sexy Kayuki who was Tom Cruise love interest in Last Samurai, though there is one scene which show how powerful (and seductive) her character really is plus the storyline uses her name as a usage to show the demon’s power as well. Gianna Jun or Ji-hyun Jeon her full Korean name has done well for her first action movie she did what she was asked to do and done it reasonably well when you see she is more used to doing romantic comedies or dramas.
What did make me laugh was the demons they look like the rubber monsters you would have seen in a 1970’s episode of Doctor Who plus top it with a little dodgy CGI FX. What I did like was the way scenes that showed Saya drinking the blood which shows her demonic side but as the bottle where white and given to her in brown paper bag, you only saw the blood on her lips done in a way like blade when he needed injections to survive.
Overall this did follow as much as the original story, it’s not a oscar winner, but a action packed film with some excellent choreographed scenes and lasting only about 95minutes it isnt one of those big dissappointed hollywood arsebreaking 2 and half hour films. Fun and entertaining.
★★★| Paul Devine
Action, Horror | France, UK 2009 | 18| Pathe UK | 26th June 2009 | Dir.Chris Nahon | Ji-hyun Jun, Allison Miller, Liam Cunningham, Koyuki, Colin Salmon, JJ Feild, Larry Lamb
Originally post at The Peoples Movies | 2nd July 2009