Underworld: Blood Wars (2016)
Directed by: Anna Foerster
Written by: Cory Goodman, Danny McBride, Kevin Grevioux, Kyle Ward, Len Wiseman
Starring: Bradley James, Kate Beckinsale, Theo James, Tobias Menzies Charles Dance
UNDERWORLD: BLOOD WARS (2016)
Directed by Anna Foerster
Under threat from a powerful lycan army led by the determined new leader Marius, the vampire coven plead with death dealer Selene to rejoin their ranks and train their vampire army to protect and defend their species from annihilation. However, Marius wants more than to wage war against the Vampires. He desires the blood of Eve, the pure Lycan-Vampire hybrid child of Selene and Michael, but Selene will do whatever it takes to protect her daughter and her whereabouts.
Whether I’ve been asleep under a rock this entire time or not, I didn’t realise we were up to a fifth instalment of the UNDERWORLD franchise.That gives you a bit of an idea of what interest I have in the series but having enjoyed the first movie and skipped the rest, I was willing to give the latest flick a try.
Starring Kate Beckinsale as the PVC-clad, kick-ass, blood-sucking warrior, UNDERWORLD: BLOOD WARS returns to the franchise where, yet again, vampires and werewolves wage war on one another. *Yawn* New leader Marius, played by Outlander‘s Tobias Menzies, seems much more organised than his predecessors which has the vampire faction quaking in their boots. Deciding that their army is no match for the Lycan’s, power-hungry vamp Semira manages to convince elder Thomas (Charles Dance), who’s son David (Theo James) was brought back to life by Selene, to lure the death dealer back into the fold. However, with Selene seen as a traitor to many within the vampire coven after her slaughter of elder Viktor, it’s not going to be the easiest of tasks to trust her with their lives. For Selene, the vampire lineage isn’t the only thing under threat as she must constantly keep her hybrid daughter Eve safe. Refusing to know the whereabouts of her daughter, Selene believes her absence is the only way to keep Eve safe when both the vampires and lycans will do anything to get hold of her.
UNDERWORLD: BLOOD WARS starts as it means to go on with quickly edited, choppy action scenes executed in near darkness. Couple this with a plot that could have been told in its entirety within five minutes but is instead stretched to over 80 minutes in order to be sold as a feature film, and you get the idea that this is one movie that’s heading straight for the bargain bin of your local videoshop. Or Poundland.
With little to no character development for any of the characters, this fifth instalment of the Underworld series is incredibly hard to get stuck into. Shallow and brainless, UNDERWORLD: BLOOD WARS has very little going for it, especially when most of the scenes are filled with complete darkness, empty characters and cheap CGI. The cheesy, awkward dialogue doesn’t help either and, though it must be hard to feel passionate about weak material and wooden lines, the lack of emotional delivery from one of the film’s leading protagonists, David, only serves to frustrate further. Just how bad can this sequel go? The answer: very bad.
If you think the creators are running out of ideas, you’re probably right, and I can’t believe that Kate Beckinsale signed up for this abysmal effort. Selene is given very little to do except to whine about her daughter and do a bit of the occasional ass kicking. Both Charles Dance and Tobias Menzies, both fine actors in their own right, are hardly given any screentime and suffer from being given stereotypical characters that have no personality whatsoever for them to develop. Because of the lack of plot worth giving a damn about, the feature length running time is a pain to endure and, like a bad dream, you want it to be over quickly.
From what I remember of the first film, Underworld had lots of promise but there’s only so far you can run with the whole lycan vs vampire saga and I’m afraid to say that this franchise has certainly run its course and is now outstayng its welcome.
Read Dr Lenera’s review of Underworld: Blood Wars