A reckless female detective, Xingmin, gets assigned to a murder case of a young woman. What at first seems like a single incident, is soon tied to a serial killer who has been targeting prostitutes for the last decade. As more murders occur, it is up to Xing Min, her partner, and a detective who spent the last decade tracking the killer, to bring the culprit to justice.
“Blood 13” plays out as a rather predictable and safe crime drama/thriller with not much narrative substance. Unfortunately, building of the by-the-numbers plot, the rest of the production gets dragged into mediocrity. The biggest contributing factor comes from a script that offers no intrigue, making it predictable at every turn.
The performances are serviceable to the script, with no one really standing out. However, this largely seems to rest in the script, with a notable determent in choosing to turn the main protagonist into a victim in the closing act. With this choice, the support character, partner Lao Zhou, is pushed into the role of savior. Given that the initial impression of Lao Zhou is unfavorable, the turn of events betrays the strong independent nature of Xing Min that seems the focus of the majority of the film. Overall, the script destroys the potential of its characters by mishandling their progression through the story.
Looking at the cinematography and sound design, the production does boast some nice visuals and a decent score. The only time the visuals suffer is in the action sequences, which, although there are not many, they feel amateurish and awkward. Outside of the action sequences, “Blood 13” offers an engaging visual presentation, although it is restricted by a narrative that does not know how to play to its visual strengths.
“Blood 13” manages to do an adequate job in almost every aspect, making for a rather middling affair. Unfortunately, with the film seeming to just tow the line, it leaves little to grasp onto and becomes forgettable. In trying to take some positive away from the production, director Candy Li does show she has an understanding of how to make a feature length film, and perhaps given a stronger script will be able to produce something of more substance.