UNDERWORLD: BLOOD WARS:
ABOUT AS FUN AS BEING LOCKED IN A VAMPIRE COFFIN FOR AN HOUR AND A HALF, IF YOU’RE TRYING TO TAKE THIS FILM SERIOUSLY!
By Nico Beland
Movie Review: * ½ out of 4 (But so bad it’s funny!)
Kate Beckinsale returns as vampire death dealer, Selene in Underworld: Blood Wars
I’m gonna be honest with you guys, I love the Underworld film franchise, but not in the way you may think. While I did enjoy the films at a younger age, I revisited the previous movies prior to watching the latest installment, Underworld: Blood Wars, and I developed a new appreciation for the series as being so ridiculously bad and stupid that it’s enjoyable and unintentionally hilarious.
All the movies have overacting, actors not trying, ridiculously silly (but badass) action sequences, the list goes on. It’s pretty much the same reasons why I find myself riffing Screen Gems’ other successful franchise, Resident Evil from time to time (By the way, The Final Chapter review coming soon!).
As much as I love watching the action and laughing at all the stupid moments, what I don’t like about these movies is that not much is different with each sequel. It’s like the first movie on repeat with slight differences added, it’s the Michael Bay Transformers of vampire movies.
And it’s not different here, Underworld: Blood Wars, the fifth and supposedly final installment of the franchise and the first Underworld film since Underworld: Awakening in 2012. If you’ve seen any of the Underworld movies before you know what to expect with this one, but this one goes beyond silly, just you wait and see.
Kate Beckinsale (Much Ado About Nothing, Click, Love & Friendship) returns as vampire heroine, Selene, still on the run from both the Lycan clan and the vampire clan that betrayed her, after her daughter, Eve mysteriously disappeared (Hey, didn’t we already get this in the last movie?), with her Vampire-Corvinus Strain hybrid partner, David (Theo James-Downton Abbey, Golden Boy, The Divergent Series) and his Vampire Elder father, Thomas (Charles Dance-The Golden Child, Dracula Untold, The Imitation Game).
As they fend off brutal attacks from the vampires and Lycans, Selene must do everything in her power to end the war, and stop the sinister Lycan leader, Marius (Tobias Menzies-Casino Royale, Atonement, Outlander) as well as the fiercely ambitious vampire, Semira (Lara Pulver-True Blood, Sherlock, Da Vinci’s Demons) from turning the modern world into their slaughterhouse.
The film also stars James Faulkner (Bridget Jones 1 and 2, X-Men: First Class, Game of Thrones) as Cassius, Bradley James (Fast Girls) as Varga, Peter Andersson (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit) as Vidar, Daisy Head (The Last Seven, Fallen, Guilt) as Alexia, Trent Garrett (All My Children, CSI: NY, New Girl) replacing Scott Speedman as Lycan-Vampire hybrid, Michael Corvin, and Oliver Stark (The Adventurer: Curse of the Midas Box, Into the Badlands) as Gregor.
Overall, Underworld: Blood Wars delivers exactly what it advertises, vampires and werewolves being slaughtered in grotesque ways, Kate Beckinsale kicking ass in a leather outfit, and over the top acting that’s beautifully laughable. As the film progresses, it only gets sillier and sillier, the previous films had a lot of corny and dumb moments, but this one, Oh My %^&*ing God! A Lycan brawl competition, a vampire caged fight, Selene runs across the cage’s bars during the fight, and one of the funniest father movie deaths I’ve seen in a long time.
With all seriousness, this is not even close to being a good movie, none of them are, it’s the exact same movie on repeat with even stupider elements added in. Throwaway characters, bad CGI, and a VERY recycled story, even for Underworld.
I swear the middle half of the movie felt like I was watching a really awkward episode of Game of Thrones with none of the smart writing or engaging characters. How did we go from vampire/Lycan shootee, shootee, bang, bang to magical swords and abilities to cure death?
Another moment that just had me laughing myself to tears was the transformation of the Lycan leader. He’s supposed to be some kind of Super-Lycan, but his design literally looks like the Hulk with dreadlocks, I was so tempted to shout “MARIUS SMASH!” in the theater.
This is one of those films I can only recommend to fans of the Underworld franchise or people who just want to make fun of a movie as it plays, seriously Sony, make these movies into Rifftrax Live shows. But if you want to get invested in these characters or take a movie seriously, this is not your flick, it’s beyond stupid and it doesn’t suck any intelligent blood to make you care.
These are the kind of movies you watch with your friends drunk and high, and make fun of as they play because of how ridiculous the franchise becomes. If you enjoy making fun of bad movies, I actually recommend seeing it, I can guarantee a lot of laughs.
Underworld has brought so much joy to me even if it wasn’t the way the studio and filmmakers intended. It’s vampire guilty pleasure crap at its finest and I look forward to some zombie unintentional laughs from Screen Gems in a couple weeks with Resident Evil: The Final Chapter.