The last time we saw powder keg action star Gina Carano, she busted Channing Tatum's butt all over a diner during the explosive opening sequence of Steven Soderbergh's unjustly ignored 2012 spy thriller "Haywire." (We'll politely forget she also appeared in 2013's "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.")
In John Stockwell's honeymoon-from-hell thriller "In the Blood," the real-life mixed martial arts fighter plays Ava, a woman who doesn't take no for an answer when searching for her missing new hubby (Cam Gigandet), carted away in an ambulance after suffering a fall during their Caribbean vacation.
Danny Trejo's appearance as local thug Big Biz borders on comic relief. Luis Guzman's investigating cop couldn't look more corrupt if he handed out cards reading, "Will Work For Any Caribbean Villain."
They mistake Ava for a weak and emo female gringo. They don't see the flashbacks in which Ava's sadistic dad (Stephen Lang) tortures her, cuts her and chokes her during "training" sessions while muttering, "Survivors have scars! Losers have funerals! Scars are more interesting!"
Carano's Ava blends sexual allure with athletic panache, but her fight scenes rely more on editing than choreography. Emoting isn't the star's strong suit. Neither is delivering dialogue with conviction when the director isn't Soderbergh.
Then, having the words "Property of Anchor Bay Entertainment" blazoned in white letters across the press DVD screen makes viewer appreciation of "In the Blood" virtually impossible.
"In the Blood" opens exclusively at the South Barrington 30. Rated R for language and violence. 104 minutes. ★ ½