Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

The choice wasn’t a simple one.  Two screenings right next to each other, one being the new werewolf movie ‘Blood and Chocolate’, the other being the spoof ‘Cops’ TV show movie ‘Reno 911: Miami’.  I’m a Reno 911 guy, but I’m slated to watch ‘Blood and Chocolate’  It would not have been a problem for me to just slide on over to the next theater since the reps know me pretty well, but being a man of honor, I did was what I was scheduled to do.  Next time, honor be damned!  ‘Blood and Chocolate’ was truly one of the most unpleasant experiences I’ve ever had to suffer through at the movies.

Agnes Bruckner is Vivian, a 19-year old, terminally depressed young woman living with her aunt in Budapest.  Vivian’s family was slaughtered in America when she was a little girl, for which reasons which she is held solely responsible.  You see, Vivian, her family and her people are members of the race of loup-garou, or werewolves.  These aren’t the Lon Chaney variety of werewolves, since they don’t walk upright, and don’t need a full moon, but they are silver sensitive.  Vivian, if the prophecy holds true is slated to be the new wife of the leader Gabriel (Oliver Martinez) which makes her even more depressed.  These get a bit complicated when Vivian meets and falls for Aiden (Hugh Dancy) a young graphic novelist on the run.  This greatly upsets Vivian’s rouge cousin Rafe (Bryan Dick) who hates Vivian, as well as his father Gabriel, but is determined to destroy Aiden and Vivian for perceived crimes against the loup-garou.  Will Vivian and Aiden survive and manage to find inter-species love?

I haven’t read the novel that this was based on, as written by Annette Curtis Klaus, but even reading the summary of the novel was far more interesting than the movie

crafted here by Katja Von Garnier.  This film fails to reach nearly every possible goal it sets for itself.  It fails as a love story mainly because Agnes Bruckner’s Vivian is so sour, and so depressed and ultimately so selfish and self serving that who cares if she finds love?  The character did nothing in this movie to endear herself to anyone.  One wonders why the Gabriel character wants to be bothered with her in the first place.  Yeah, we're told that the prophecies take precedent, but it was established that as supreme loup-galou leader Gabriel can pretty much make up new prophecies on the fly.  New prophecy; No sour, angry, screwed up, depressed, death causing heifers will be considered as mate material no matter how cute they may be. 

As a standard action adventure it falls short, again because the heroine was hardly a heroine, as all of her goals were completely self serving, but the film also lacked a villain.  Oliver Martinez is a fine actor, and actually he was pretty good in this too, but his Gabriel was actually far more heroic than the Vivian character.  His characters ultimate goal was for the good of the many and anything he may have done that could be perceived as wicked or evil was easily justifiable.  Vivian only did what she needed to do to make Vivian feel good.  So when we get to the big showdown, there’s actually more empathy for the ‘bad guy’ than the ones who are being presented as ‘heroes’.  

Then there’s Vivian’s boyfriend Aiden.  Aiden tells us a story how his father was an asshole ex-army ranger who demanded that he could defend himself.  Thus I would imagine being the son of an ex-army ranger essentially turned Aiden into Rambo, able to take out scores of genetically enhanced wolf dudes, be it in hand to hand combat, stealth recon, sniper accurate gun skills and a combat savvy that would that be the envy of even the most skilled military veteran.  Would you know that I’m the child of an ex-Green Beret, Ranger, Special Forces officer?  And though I can kick a little ass if necessary, I don’t like my chances against a pack of angry, grief stricken, revenge minded, genetically superior wolves.  The height of silliness.

Finally, ‘Blood and Chocolate’ was boring.  It was dreadfully dull, laboriously paced and filled with characters that you didn’t care if they lived or died.  At least if it wasn’t boring, it could have wrangled a faint recommendation on being trite entertainment, and it wasn’t even that.  Save yourself some money, and see if the book is available on sale somewhere, as I’m sure it’s gotta be better than this was.

Buds Second:  I don't mean to be as harsh as Chris has been in his writing about this movie, because I didn't find it to be quite as "unpleasant" as he did (no doubt owing to the fact that I categorically love werewolf movies above all others).  however, I do owe it to you to point out the following:  This is a movie without an audience.  If it were trying to appeal to those who like werewolf movies (as I do), there wasn't nearly enough werewolf-y goodness there for us to hang our hats on.  If it  were trying to appeal to action movie lovers generally, it will definitely leave you hanging.  And if (gasp!) you are tuning in because you like a good "forbidden love" story, then you too will be disappointed.  And finally, if you are interested to see this movie because you think Agnes Bruckner is really hot, I am sad to inform you that she ain't showing much of that beauty in this show.  I recommend that you skip this movie, and don't even give it a second thought.

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