In the Blood (2014) [Blu-Ray]

Action goddess Gina Carano tries her hand at a “Taken” style action romp, and for the most part, it delivers big time. “In the Blood” is an interesting spin on the formula where Carano plays a heroine that’s vulnerable but never helpless, and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to ensure the safety of her husband. Carano is more than capable on this role, playing a woman that’s spent her entire life learning how to fight thanks to a survivalist father. Surely enough it comes in handy when her one chance at happiness is put in jeopardy.

Playing the humble Ava, she and her husband Derek have just married, much to the irritation of his well off family. Convinced she’s marrying Derek simply for his money, Derek takes Ava on a Caribbean vacation packed with romance and inadvertent adventure. While zip lining with a few friends, the ropes accidentally snap dropping Derek in to the trees. Near death, Ava attempts to see Derek to the hospital, but is persuaded to follow behind. Surely enough when she arrives to see Derek, no one in the hospital has heard of him, or even seen him. Even worse, there’s no sign he was ever near a hospital.

What ensues is Ava taking every known measure to find her husband, and thwart the suspicions of his overprotective father (Treat Williams) who suspects Ava was in cahoots with his kidnappers. Ava crosses hell and back to find Derek, tackling gang members, drug lords, and even defying the local police force that may or may not know where Derek is. Carano gives a very competent performance in the role of Ava, balancing out breakneck attitude and sincere desperation to build an interesting heroine. Stephen Lang has a very neat walk on role as Ava’s polarizing father who is seen mostly through flashbacks, displaying enough exposition to prevent audiences from questioning why Ava can operate like a commando in even the tightest situations.

There’s also very good performances from Danny Trejo, and Amaury Nolasco who is delightfully despicable. John Stockwell directs a very tense and often exciting crime thriller, and one with an interesting premise that definitely amounts to a unique twist. Gina Carano is the head liner that garners the most attention here, and should be leading blockbusters by now. For now, fans of Carano will enjoy yet another rousing turn as action heroine. I sure as hell did. The Blu-Ray comes with a Behind the Scenes featurette that explores the making of the movie and the exotic locations filmed.