Feast or Famine
Home is Where The Gun Is
When You Got Nothin’
You Can Never Hold Back Spring
Bad Blood is a true crime dramatization of the notorious Montreal mob boss Vito Rizzuto. With 6 easily digestible episodes chock full of action and drama, Bad Blood makes for a surprisingly binge-worthy watch. Although the acting is a little patchy at times and the story tends to jump back and forth with its time periods a little too sporadically, on the whole Bad Blood is a decent crime series and one that does justice to the life of this well-respected criminal boss.
The story begins with a brief introduction. Montreal is divided into different gang territories, with the bikers, Haitians, Irish and the Rizzuto family overwhelmed with fighting, bloodshed and arguments. Seizing the opportunity, Vito takes the reigns of this uncontrollable beast and somehow brings peace to Montreal, with all the gangs working together in a loose alliance. From here, the story twists and turns as Vito’s hard-fought peace is threatened when he winds up in prison and his right hand man Declan takes over. As in-fighting and greed among the gangs reaches tipping point, all hell breaks loose.
The second half of the series takes on a much more cat-and-mouse feel, with Vito and Declan scrambling to cover their tracks while an investigation mounts into the construction racketeering business the criminal empire in Montreal has benefited from for so long. This all builds toward a climactic end that reveals a shock twist to the tale. While the door closes on Vito’s story, finishing with an informative wall of text about his last days, Bad Blood does leave the possibility open for a second season, following a different character.
While the story ticks by nicely, Bad Blood does suffer some pacing problems with the way it jumps back and forth in time. While these flashbacks do well to flesh out the characters, especially Veto and Declan, the rapid nature of the flashbacks actually detracts a little from the enjoyment. This, coupled with a touch of over-acting and a few patchy dialogue exchanges hold Bad Blood back from being a better title.
Regardless of its faults, Bad Blood is a surprisingly engaging and easy show to watch. The story is very easy to follow and the characters themselves are given enough screen time to help flesh out the hierarchy and the various gang members. Helpful narration from one of the characters does a good job bringing some authenticity to each scene and there’s a smart inclusion of some actual news footage to substantiate some of the more shocking elements of Vito’s life.
While Bad Blood lacks the big blockbuster feel other shows in this genre have achieved, the story more than makes up for it with its well written story. Split across 6 episodes at around 40 minutes each (if you cut out the recap and “next episode” segments), the show is very easy to binge and the action sequences help give each episode a quick pace. With such a saturated market, it was always going to be difficult for Bad Blood to stack up next to such lucrative titles but given the smaller budget, the series does a pretty good job. If you like crime dramas this one is worth watching but those expecting something akin to the quality of El Chapo or Narcos may be left wanting.
Verdict - 7/10