The Breed with Adrian Paul and Bokeem Woodbine is a dark vampire drama about vampires living alongside human beings in an oppressive, totalitarian future where people drive classic cars and speakers blare propaganda. The movie begins with Detective Stephen Grant (Bokeem Woodbine) losing his partner to a pale, laughing man who can climb walls and withstand multiple bullet wounds.
Detective Grant is afraid everyone will believe his story is crazy, but the military leaders inform him the vampire community has just recently made its presence known and that he must now work with a new partner – Aaron Gray (Adrian Paul), a vampire much like Edward Cullen. Pale, brooding and handsome, Grey wants the vampires and humans to peacefully coexist.
Most of the vampires in this 2001 movie have long ago made the decision to live on synthetic blood and not kill humans, much like the Cullen family in “Twilight.” As the vampires put it, they have “evolved.” These peaceful vampires have lived in secret in a community called Serenity in a village that looks a lot like a World War II Jewish ghetto. However, other vampires like the mysterious Lucy Westenra (Bai Ling) live in magnificent, exotic palaces, so the movie sends several mixed signals about how marginalized the vampires are.
As the vampires make the decision to come forward and reveal themselves and their peaceful intentions to humanity, things become complicated. Some vampires want to sabotage the alliance, and the military society of the humans has created a virus that will kill all the vampires and leave the humans unharmed just in case the plans to coexist don’t work out. Everyone’s motives are shrouded in secrecy and hidden agendas.
The Breed often has a despairing, hopeless feel to it and is sometimes a bit confusing. However, I found the glimpses into Aaron Gray’s (Adrian Paul) past interesting, and some of the film is innovative. This movie–like “Twilight”–challenges the notion that creations of fiction like vampires are by default demonic, because the vampire colonies of The Breed can best be compared to Jewish communities during World War II.
The Breed has an interesting premise and intriguing moments, but sometimes loses itself in a dark, depressing muddle. However, it should appeal to fans of “Twilight” and the “Highlander” series.
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