Okay, as you can see from the trailer, this movie looks pretty damn awesome (if vampires, demons and kick ass fight scenes are your thing). The overall story line of the movie sucked me in. Film wise I got a sort of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon vibe from this movie, but with a much darker, YA feel. I like to think of this movie as Crouching Vampire, Hidden Demon, as it had some of the beauty and intensity of CTHD, but it was a hit and miss. In fact, the whole movie in every possible way was a hit and miss for me, starting with the fact that I didn't feel or understand the whole vampire component to the story other than Saya (the mc) sometimes drinks blood from a bottle provided to her by some dudes whose mission/hidden agenda I never really understood.
The effects: Sometimes the artistry of the effects and filming were so beautifully done and other times it was cheesy, fake and awkwardly angled. I don't mind the exaggerated blood type effects (something I actually love about the Kill Bill films), but there were times when the effects didn't look any better than those from the original 1981 version of Clash of the Titans. It was very strange to see these modern effects mixed with antiquated ones. It went back and forth from "cool" to "Boooooo." Disappointing.
The fight scenes: Some of them were great, others were so convoluted that I couldn't tell what the hell was happening. Things were flying through the air (body parts I'm assuming), but the weird angles and dark lighting made it hard to decipher what was happening at times. There was one scene that was so fake looking and so completely unrealistic that I laughed out loud. If it had been beautiful (like the fight scenes in the woods in CTHD), then I wouldn't have minded, but this scene (the one on the truck if you see the movie) was just plain silly and...dumb.
The acting: again, a hit and miss for me. Some of the actors did a nice job, including the main character, Saya, played by actress Gianna Jun. She was very believable in her role. Great with the sword and fight scenes (though I'm not sure how much was her vs. a stunt double). Her emotions felt authentic and therefore I connected to her and her character's situation. However, the secondary main character, Alice, played by Allison Miller baffled me. At times, she seemed to really know how to deliver a line and then there were moments where I cringed and wanted to scold her acting teachers/coach (if she even has one and if she doesn't, she needs one!). I won't blame her ENTIRELY (though mostly), because sometimes I think it was the quality of the script with cheesy lines like "Please be careful, Saya" after Saya had just slained over 100 demons and saved her life. The character who plays her father was also pretty disappointing, but then his character was your typical, overly strict high ranking military father, so there was no real depth to his character. The actress who played Onigen, the head Demon for whom Saya is seeking to kill to avenge the death of her father and mentor, played by Koyuki was actually pretty good, (also known for her role as Taka in The Last Samurai) and not hard on the eyes at all. She is so beautiful that I found myself mesmerized at times (no, I'm not gay...not that there's anything wrong with it :-))
Overall, I found the movie entertaining. The only thing that kept me invested to watch it to the end (because it wasn't the acting or special effects), was the story line/plot. It worked for me (for the most part) and I had to see what would happen to Saya and whether she would win. Which reminds me...the ending left me scratching my head. Very strange and awkward ending for me.
My rating system:
1=hated it, just wasted an hour and half of my life and I want it back damn it!
2=meh, not the worst I've ever seen, but I don't ever need to see it again
3=entertaining, maybe I'll watch it again when it comes to Netflix or cable
4=pretty awesome, I'll probably buy the DVD when it goes on sale
5=OMG, this film was kick ass awesome, it is pre-order from Amazon worthy, add to my list of favorites