Witchblade, the Movie
"A new force of justice has arrived on the streets of New York."
Yancy Butler plays Sara Pezzini, a New York cop, in this made-for-TV movie pilot. Sara's father was killed in the line of duty some time ago, and more recently, her best friend from high school was also shot. Sara suspects the same man for both, but can't prove it. While chasing one of his goons through a museum, she stumbles across a strange-looking gauntlet which just happens to get shot out of the case it's in, and lands on her hand... The Witchblade. Fated to be worn by one woman in each generation, the Witchblade has led its wielders to great victories, only to abandon them when they needed it most. Sara must master the powers of the Witchblade to bring the man who killed her father and friend to justice.
Adapted from the comic book series, Witchblade does its best to maintain the panelled-feel of a comic book with dark sets, strange angled camera shots and excessive use of strobing and the "Matrix-effect" (circle-panning during a freeze frame in the middle of combat). Yancy's portrayal of Sara is about the only justice in the entire movie - compared to her co-stars, hers is an Academy Award performance. Faced with two-dimensional characters and lines written for cartoon bubbles, it's difficult to breathe life into such a role, but Yancy does admirably well, mostly by alternating between hard-nosed cop, and confused ingenue. Unfortunately, all the good acting in the world fails against excessive use of deus ex machina and forced character manipulation - and this movie has both in abundance, which unfortunately, detracts from the overall excitement - you root for the hero, only to have victory snatched by stupid writer tricks. Of course, it does work both ways - as Sara gets saved on a number of occasions by the enigmatic Ian Nottingham (Eric Etebari).
Intended to be the pilot episode, WB sold the series to TNT, where it currently airs in its first season.
If you've read the comic book series, this movie is probably a pass. If you haven't read the series, read it, then skip the movie.
IMDB - http://us.imdb.com/Title?0169514
Collector's Paradise - http://www.geocities.com/Area51/8604/wblade.htm