An Island Idyll Turns Sinister


This review by Andy Webster appeared in The New York Times. Follow the link below for the complete review.

Free Gina Carano! This former mixed-martial artist has plummeted from the heights and all-star cast of “Haywire” — Steven Soderbergh’s delightful 2012 revenge thriller — and now, after a supporting role in “Fast & Furious 6,” appears trapped in B-film depths. Witness “In the Blood,” an action trifle from John Stockwell that offers Puerto Rico locations and brief appearances by vivid actors (Treat Williams, Stephen Lang) but squanders Ms. Carano.

She plays Ava, who was raised to be a fighting machine by her drug lord father (Mr. Lang). Ava and her husband, Derek (Cam Gigandet), are honeymooning in the Caribbean when Derek is injured in a fall and vanishes. Hitting a wall of corruption and cover-ups, Ava becomes a tenacious angel of vengeance as she searches for answers. Those answers, when they arrive, defy belief. But lack of credibility is not the film’s primary offense.

Ms. Carano has presence to burn, and prowess in hand-to-hand and foot-to-kneecap combat, as a nightclub sequence with multiple attackers demonstrates. She also has a radiant smile, a capacity for elegant glamour and a wry charm, qualities underused here. Deficient even in most of its set pieces, “In the Blood” does Ms. Carano (and Caribbean tourism) few favors. Somebody, please give her a better script and director.

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