April 4, 2014 at 1:00 am

Tom Long

Review: Action-packed 'In the Blood' is mostly fights and filler

Gina Carano and Amaury Nolasco star in 'In the Blood.' Carano plays a woman fighting to find her husband. (Anchor Bay Films)

Tucked away in a corner of the vacations-gone-wrong genre is the sub-classification honeymoons-gone-wrong.

“In the Blood” is part of the honeymoons-gone-wrong class, thriller division. It stars mixed martial arts star Gina Carano (“Haywire”), and the story is pretty much there to set up sequences where Carano can whack the bejumpers out of people.

Carano plays Ava, raised by a violence-prone father (Stephen Lang) who taught her to be all sorts of vicious. But as an adult, Ava has met and married a recovering addict from a wealthy family named Derek (Cam Gigandet), and off they are on a honeymoon to the Bahamas.

Which is going swell until a native friend, Manny (Ismael Cruz Cordova), takes them to a dance floor where some guys hit on Ava and she ends up mauling a dozen or so people. They escape, but the next day Manny takes them to a friend’s zip-line business.

Which puts Derek in an ambulance. But when Ava tries to follow the ambulance to a local hospital, it vanishes. Where’s her husband?

The balance of the film is Ava hunting for her missing husband. Derek’s father (Treat Williams) thinks she arranged for his death to grab inheritance money, the local sheriff (Luis Guzman) seems to have similar suspicions, and Ava is left with nothing to work with but her fists of fury.

Those fists are indeed furious, and fight enthusiasts may wish they were watching at home so they could just jump from beatdown to beatdown and ignore the filler in between.

Carano is an impressive woman, but she’s no Meryl Streep; and even Streep couldn’t make a movie this by-the-numbers look like anything more than it is: violence with interruptions.

'In the Blood'

GRADE: C-

Rated R for strong violence and language

Running time: 90 minutes

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