Park ought to know [in]famous undercover detectives never just retire,
especially when their biggest case holds some decidedly ugly secrets. The cop-turned-professor will have to revert
to his old ways when his young son is kidnapped by a mystery man with revenge on
his unhinged mind in DJ Holloway & Sun W. Kim’s Innocent Blood (trailer here), which screens this Saturday during the
2013 Asian American International Film Festival in New York.
knows crime, but with his limited academic credentials he can only land a
community college teaching gig. He plans
to go back for the right degrees, once his wife Susan finishes law school. It has been hard on their son Cody, who does
not see his mother nearly as much as they both would like. As a result, when her husband’s nemesis abducts
the young boy, she suffers from an acute attack of guilt.
from contacting the authorities, Park will have to figure out just what the kidnapper
wants on his own. It all seems to revolve
around Brad Lee, a human trafficker framed for a crime he technically did not exactly
commit. Park’s first clue will be the
trail of dead bodies he cannot explain to Carl Grierr and Jim Collins, the odd
couple detectives doggedly tailing him.
the harsh realities of human trafficking remain off-camera throughout Blood, it is an issue the filmmakers
feel strongly about. Like the T.O.M.
Film Festival co-founded by screenwriter-co-director Kim, Blood was envisioned
as a vehicle to raise funds and awareness.
It is well intentioned, but the on-screen business does not always
withstand the common sense test. (Park
really drops his son off on the very urban looking street around the corner
from his school, without watching to see if he makes it inside okay?)
Jun-seong Kim’s not quite retired James Kim is a genuinely compellingly
angst-ridden everyman. Alexandra Chun is
also entirely believable and sympathetic as the distraught mother. Although still a relatively young thesp,
Lance Lim makes a strong return appearance at AAIFF, following up his solid turn
in Il Cho’s accomplished short Jin
with his engaging work as Cody Park.
for most genre fans, the main attraction in Blood
will be Doug Jones (the Silver Surfer, etc), somewhat playing against type
as Grierr, the acerbic but honest copper. He earns a fair number of sarcastic chuckles,
which are truly appreciated, considering the film’s grim and gritty tone. In contrast, C.S. Lee’s villain is rather
Blood tackles some big
themes, like sacrifice and redemption, while exhibiting a wider social
conscience. However, Sun W. Kim’s
screenplay is not good about sharing information, while keeping its cast of
characters severely blinkered. Yet, it effectively
taps into some very real emotions that will keep most viewers fully vested in
Recommended for fans of Jones and dark crime
dramas, Innocent Blood screens Saturday
afternoon (7/26) at the Anthology Film Archives, as part of this year’s AAIFF
(The festival officially starts tonight with Linsanity, Evan Jackson Leong’s entertaining documentary record of
Jeremy Lin’s dramatic rise to NBA stardom and concludes Saturday, August 3rd,
with Yang Yonghi’s Our Homeland, a
deeply compassionate portrait of a Japanese-North Korean family divided by
Labels: AAIFF '13, Doug Jones, Kidnapping films