Underworld: Blood WarsCultureCinemaMovie reviews
In the latest instalment of the Underworld saga, director Anna Foerster delivers another 90 minutes of undead warfare. Whilst this most recent movie might have done enough to quench the fans’ thirst, what with the near unbroken stylised action, it falls short of captivating the uninitiated.
A war is waging, it has been for centuries. The last of the vampires face an existential threat and only the outlawed Selene (Kate Beckinsale), whose bloodline holds the key to evolving, can save them from the Lycan army. However, the werewolves are resurgent around their new leader Marius (Tobias Menzies), who plots to overthrow the vampires’ last strongholds in the east and north. To make matters even more dire, Selene and her allies David (Theo Jameson) and Thomas (Charles Dance) must contend with treachery within their ranks. Fanged factionalism beware!
The acting is competent enough to carry a scene but lacklustre performances fail to leave an impression and even Game of Throne’s Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) comes second to the onslaught of bangs, bullets and blood. That said, this is a machine gun-armed vampires versus werewolves kind of movie, so action and unceasing violence is to be expected. If a fighting fusion of The Matrix and Twilight sounds appealing, then Blood Wars could well be for you.
The vampiric dwellings are very atmospheric, with grandiose gothic architecture juxtaposed against barren planes, ice and northern lights. Such settings are apt, as they help to convey a sense of otherworldliness to the viewers, which is, incidentally, a department where the special effects (more Harry Potter than horror) let the film down.
In another cliched moment, just as all hope seems lost, death dealer Selene arrives with an army of Nordic vampires and saves Thomas and the Eastern Coven. She has conquered the Underworld and progressed on the heroine’s journey. The timing of her arrival and the newly dip-dyed hair (complete with costume) could be a parody of Gandalf riding over the hill to save the day. Only, it isn’t funny; it is all just too serious. More humour or a better script would have done this movie the world of good. As it screens, it’s just too poor to be a genre homage. Maybe a sixth Underworld feature will do a better job; they could pastiche Underworld: Blood Wars?
Underworld: Blood Wars is released nationwide on 13th January 2017.
Watch the trailer for Underworld: Blood Wars here: