Blood is covering the walls in a place called Heaven Valley when Adam Chaplin is out to seek vengeance for the murder of his wife. She was burned to death by a mafia boss. Adam has summoned a demon that follows him on his back. It gives him help and the power to find and take down the boss.
Since I managed to stumble upon the pre-order on the day it was released (knew of the movie before, just didn't know when the release was) I figured I would order it. It didn't really look like a movie I would love, but it promised lots of blood and I figured I could review it at least. And not just to give it a bad review, I'm a big splatter movie fan to begin with and I grew up loving many of the great splatters over some (probably better) horror movies. A few days later it arrived and now that I've seen it I think I was pretty spot-on with what I expected from it. Although less comical than I thought it would be. For better or for worse, I'm not sure to be honest.
The plot is like something out of any random action movie (or "The Crow") where a man is out to kill the person who killed his wife. In this case it was a mafia boss, and the lead man is Adam Chaplin - a muscular, long-haired Italian who has summoned a demon on his back. The demon is helping him find the mafia boss and also gives Adam powers not of this earth. Through-out the movie he is punching holes through heads and bellies, crushing and ripping off arms and legs, and everything else you'd imagine someone from a cartoon would do.
Yes, I say cartoon because this is quite literally "just" a live-action Anime. It mostly reminds me of a "Fist of the North Star" because that's an Anime I grew up watching that was in the veins of this. But of course, Adam Chaplin isn't as awesome as Kenshiro is/was. But the violence is like the similar Animes - blood spraying in ridiculous amounts, kicks and punches are done in rapid speeds, people either wear masks or have disfigured faces (all to try and make iconic characters of sorts). I think it's a fun attempt in some ways but it also lacks something very important that I'm not sure what it is yet. It manages to be pretty boring (and I suppose the plot is extremely predictable) even though it's filled with so much action. This is something that a movie like "The Story of Ricky" succeeded with. That movie was extremely entertaining upon first watch and still works to this day. I would say that "Adam Chaplin" has more Anime-ish violence, though.
The problem with the violence in this one isn't how it looks but the fact that there is so much CGI used to enhance it. That's not only in the gore shots, though, as it is all over the movie. A damn shame since their effects were good enough to manage without CGI. Perhaps some of the ultra-speeded hits/kicks would've needed help from a computer and that alone would've been fine, but there's nothing more annoying to a gore-fan than CGI-soaked gore. It's really hard to say if I liked the gore or not because of it. The movie is all about the gory scenes and there's enough to please, that's for sure. But every time you notice the obvious CGI you kinda say "God damnit" to yourself. Oh and I can't forget,.. "the most bloody movie ever made"? I'm not sure, I always have problems judging these things. I'll just leave it at saying that it is very, very bloody. But it's more blood and less gore - like if someone is punched in the face they use about a bucket of blood for that alone.
Adam Chaplin isn't a very likable character either and that adds to the way the movie manages to be boring. The demon on his back is a lot more entertaining however. Not to mention it's another thing this movie has that gives it an Anime feel, since it manages to mix regular action, huge amounts of gore and unearthly things such as the demon.
The movie carries a very blue-ish look and I don't know if that's because it is set in a fictional country called "Heaven Valley" (stupid name for a country) or if it's just a style decision, but I think it looks very bad and cheapens the movie. It appears to be wanting a Hollywood-look and whether that's true or not I don't know, but it's not a good quality in this case. A less "stylish" look would've been to prefer.
All in all "Adam Chaplin" is probably more interesting for people who wants to see a live-action Anime (so basicly, Anime fans) than people who wants to see splatter. It's not a terrible movie and I have a hard time judging it but I wasn't all that impressed. There's no need for me to warn you that you won't get a very good story with it, though, since anyone who puts this in the DVD player will be certain about it being a mindless splatter. If you want to have a blast with martial arts-moves and splatter I would say go with "The Story of Ricky". If you want something even more mindless after that one, you can check this one out. But don't expect to laugh as much, this didn't set out to be funny.