Underworld: Blood Wars – Beating A Dead Horse

This is the fifth film of the series in fourteen years and I admit that I forgot about the series until this most recent film, Blood Wars, was announced. I am a fan of the series but maybe not as big of a fan as I thought since I didn’t realize there were five films. I’m not exactly sure why there are five now but here we are. There’s just something about Kate Beckinsale in that black leather suit emblazoned in my mind. I’ve always associated her with the character of Selene and I guess that won’t be changing anytime soon.

Synopsis: Death dealer Selene (Kate Beckinsale) must fend off brutal attacks from both the Lycan clan and the vampire faction that betrayed her. Joining forces with allies David (Theo James) and Thomas (Charles Dance), she embarks on a quest to end the eternal war between the two races, even if it means making the ultimate sacrifice. (Tribune Media Service)

Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Theo James, and Tobias Menzies.

Writer: Cory Goodman

Director: Anna Foerster

Rating: R

Running Time: 91mins

Trailer:

For those who may have taken a few film off (like I have apparently), the film offers a quick retrospective of the events leading up to this film. It does kind of help but seeing the other films would ultimately be the best option because some characters and storylines from the previous film do carry over. Those who haven’t may have difficulty figuring out what’s going on. What made things even more difficult is all the moving parts contained in the plot, despite its relatively short running time. This made the plot more convoluted than it had to be.

Selene (Beckinsale) is in a middle of a war between the vampires and the lycans. They are both interested in her daughter’s blood as it would grant them ultimate power. The problem was that Selene did not know where she was as knowing her whereabouts would put her at risk. Each side, including the vampires and the lycans and their leader Marius (Menzies), had their own motives which made the plot hard to follow or care about.

The problem is that these subplots take up the majority of the film, making it feel more about the other characters than Selene herself, who is supposed to be the main character. This could also be caused by missing previous films. After five films, it was almost like throwing as many lazy ideas as possible against the wall and seeing what sticks and hoping to bank on familiar characters and the title. This may work for some but it wasn’t quite good enough.

The best part of the film had to be the action which was kind of exciting to watch because of its grand scale, culminating in a large battle near the end of the film. Due to its sheer scale, it did make things hard to follow at times. This was probably where the rookie director’s inexperience was most evident. This was also where the film earned its R-rating. It was a violent film, sometimes needlessly violent thanks to its gratuitous use of blood with one violent instance standing out.

Almost everything about the film just screamed cheese, from the bad dialogue, the action, and the distracting CGI. It seemed like the film cut corners in that respect with some vampire and lycan effects appearing blaringly obvious. The acting was okay with Beckinsale being the best part of the film. Everyone was committed but no one really stood out. Unfortunately or not, the series does not look like it will end anytime soon.

Overall, this was a poorly executed film with a lazy story, lackluster direction, and decent performances.

Score: 4.5/10

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7 thoughts on “Underworld: Blood Wars – Beating A Dead Horse

  1. Good review. Definitely for me, Blood Wars moved incredibly fast with little to no time in explaining certain things (places, characters, etc.). It had a lot of good story ideas, but it was just executed very poorly.

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