Movie Review: Innocent Blood

From the Boston Asian American Film Festival last weekend, Innocent Blood — a closed case reopens, his son is kidnapped, and ex-LA detective James Park must confront past transgressions to save his family.

 

Why should you watch the movie?

If you like thrillers, it delivers. It keeps the suspense coiled tight through the whole movie, which is an impressive feat. If you’re not interested in ethnic studies or issues of social justice, it focuses less on issues of Asian American community/identity/racial politics, so much as it questions whether the pursuit of justice can be both noble and effective. The freedom to present broken, fully developed, Asian American characters in a full length feature film, without having to defend of define their racial identity is refreshingly fun. If you like buddy cops, damn. The supporting tall/short detective combo is funny.

 

Why shouldn’t you watch the movie?

If you’re distracted by clunky dialog, the story and the actors are solid, but the writing tends to feel a little stilted and forced. If you don’t like violence and moral ambiguity, you may feel a bit uncomfortable with how often both make their way into the movie. If you’re tired of Christianity being used as a shorthand for morality, there’s that trope, too. Also, the pan-ethnicity of the movie gets a bit muddy.

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