Underworld: Blood Wars Review: Vampires and Werewolves Play the Game of Thrones

Photo Credit:http://www.comingsoon.net/movies/trailers/764045-the-underworld-blood-wars-trailer-is-here#/slide/1

On my way to the theater to watch Blood Wars, the fifth episode in the Underworld franchise that, like many of its vampiric characters, simply refuses to die, I was recounting what I remember from the other entries and realized I have absolutely no recollection of 2012’s Awakening. I remember a Matrix-style subway shoot out from the original, a few inventive actions scenes from Evolution, and a hilariously bad love scene from Rise of the Lycans. But nothing from Awakening. Not to worry! Blood Wars spends much of its first act going back and forth between re-explaining the whole series and trying to turn Underworld into Game of Thrones.

That’s right, the franchise that initially arose out of leather-clad gun play and slo-mo martial arts, an obvious rip off of The Matrix, is now concerned with the rightful heir to the vampire covens and all the politics and backstabbing that comes with it. This time, the vampires and the lycans are after Selene’s (Kate Beckinsale) blood because, like all magical blood, it’ll make everyone else more powerful and turn the tide in the war.

With a new director, the first female one at that, the Underworld franchise was primed to transcend its self-serious routes and churn out a Fast Five type of surprise that takes the skeleton of the franchise and shoots it out of a canon far beyond its possible limits. But Anna Foerster, or perhaps Screen Gems, seems to just want to make the same movie over again, the only difference being a story-relevant hair change late in the film. Blood Wars is just as humorless as the rest of the series, failing to incite any excitement about a war between vampires and werewolves. That’s hard to do five times in a row.

There’s a solid action set piece halfway through where Selene goes toe to toe with essentially a super lichen, but the rest of the film is just devoid of creativity. The thing zips along though! It feels like whole scenes are skipped as choppy editing  plagues the film’s thankfully short runtime. Which, whatever? Five films in, these characters are as uninteresting as they ever were, so if you want to skip all the boring exposition, be my guest. It’s time to put the stake through the heart of Underworld. It was a long time ago too. But now the series doesn’t have the “Hey! This looks sort of as cool as The Matrix!” vibe or the goofy, unintentional humor to push us through them. The veins are running dry, with the only hope being that this is the film to finally shut the coffin. Grade: D

By Matt Dougherty

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *