Underworld: Blood Wars is a disappointing addition to a decaying franchise.
Despite I myself being unable to grapple with the concept that this could possibly be a viewers first Underworld film (for the sole fact that you wouldn’t be watching it unless you were charmed by a leather-clad Kate Beckinsale back in 2003), the film’s team figured it would be a good idea to bring new viewers up to speed by recapping the highlights of previous Underworld films. For fans, you know, the only people choosing to watch Underworld: Blood Wars in the first place, this highlight reel is a complete waste of time. And frankly, the inclusion of said highlight reel only goes to point out the fact that Underworld has gotten far too ‘complex’ to be enjoyed by newcomers. Sure, there’s gratuitous amounts of violence and ‘epic’ Vampire v. Lycan battles, but at this point, we’ve been watching all of that for like thirteen years now, and unfortunately, it’s gotten old. And look, I enjoy watching Kate Beckinsale kick Lycan ass as much as the next guy, but we’ve been seeing the same vampires kick the same Lycan asses (and vice-versa) for a while now…
Kate Beckinsale (Love & Friendship) reprises her role as Selene, Vampire Death Dealer, and performs equally as well as she has in the past. Unfortunately, there isn’t much to say in terms of what she brought to the table this time around, she is the same as she ever was.
Yet again, Selene is caught in the middle of the centuries old Vampire/Lycan war and finds herself, again, being hunted by both factions. Why are they hunting her? Her ‘purebred hybrid’ daughter’s blood is the key to winning the war, and yes, before you ask, she is a purebred hybrid…whatever that means. The only problem here is, Selene has no idea where her daughter is, and apparently, neither of the clans know this and inadvertently waste a great deal of time hunting Selene. Bummer. Theo James (Divergent) plays Selene’s Vampire ally, David, and discovers that his blood is worth almost as much as Selene’s daughter’s blood is. Unfortunately, there isn’t nearly enough of that dark-vampire-chemistry between them to make their shared on-screen time worth watching. The same goes for Charles Dance (The Imitation Game), who plays David’s father, Thomas. Simply put, Dance’s talent is wasted here. Lara Pulver (Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow) does a solid job portraying the backstabbing Semira, but her performance gets lost in a rather messy plot.
The messy plot that I am referring to really isn’t even worth trying to summarize. The plot of Underworld: Blood Wars feels as though it is the combination of several Underworld films that could have been made, but weren’t. Again, it was messy and felt incomplete. There were some interesting aspects of the story, but none of them were given enough time to develop. Here, we have ten pounds of shit in a five pound bag. Underworld: Blood Wars is just another film that was thrown together ‘for’ fans of the franchise…which really means, for money.
Prior to actually watching the film, I was glad to know that a female, Anna Foerster, would be directing a film like this, in a genre(s) that is very male dominated. Unfortunately, the Action/Horror flick that she directed, isn’t worth watching…
Score: 4 out of 10