‘Blood Ties’ Review: An Ambitious Indie Action Flick That Suffers From a Lack of Structure

Photo Credit: http://www.bloodtiesmovie.com/

Probably very few of you have heard of Afterlight Pictures’ “no budget” action film Blood Ties. In many ways, that is both a good and a bad thing.

Blood Ties is a very small film made for next-to no money. The plot follows an ex-government operative, Jack Davis, as he tries to rescue his brother from the criminal underworld of Thailand. Like most action films, the plot is simple and relies on the action, which in many cases has proven to be a good thing. Blood Ties was made in the light of films like Crank and Shoot ‘Em Up, ridiculous action films that both rely on awesomeness and humor. The tongue-in-cheek nature allows for a few decent laughs throughout.

This type of film also does not demand much from its actors, but here, they all give fairly good performances considering many of them have not been seen before. Nothing special, but nothing noticeably bad.

Sadly, however, Blood Ties is mostly a mess due to the terrible way in which it is shot. I understand the studio does not necessarily have the budget for a great camera, but what about a tripod to put one on? Every shot looks handheld and does nothing to ease the eyes. Perhaps that’s the point, but the audience needs time to catch their breath. The quick cuts and shaky camera are headache-inducing and seriously detract from what could have been a pretty good movie.

The style also fails to set up any sort of narrative structure. There is no way to tell if something important is going on or not because every shot is given the exact same attention, which feels like none. Clearly the filmmakers had ideas but just had no grasp on how to convey them, therefore leaving the film emotionless aside from a few laughs.

But what Blood Ties proves is that you can have a decent action scene on next to no budget. In a different director’s hands the film could have been an indie classic. Hopefully, more films will be made with the intention of this one, but with the craft of an artist with a mission. Grade: C-


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