Directed by: Anna Foerster
Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Theo James, Tobias Menzies
Reviewing an Underworld flick is quite interesting. When all is said and done, the premise of each film is basically vampires versus lycans. That leaves little to share in regards to detail unless we trek into spoiler territory, which is something we’re not too big on at Addicted to Horror Movies. And that, in turn, means you’re going to read a relatively vague assessment of the film.
Knowing that, here are a few things I can share with you about Underworld: Blood Wars.
This time around, just about everyone in Selene’s life have turned their backs on her. Even worse, they’re eager to bring the greatest death dealer to a definitive end. Vampires want her dead, lycans want her dead. And the focal reason for this outlandish animosity all boils down to Eve, who may carry a power that no one could have foreseen. So, the antagonist mission in this film is to eliminate Selene, and prevent Eve from realizing her truest potential (again, big spoiler here, so we’ll skip all that business!) as a pure blood hybrid (remember that she’s the daughter of Selene and Michael, a hybrid).
On Selene’s side is David, a powerful vampire who learns that his place in this war is far more important than ever imagined. But on the flipside, we meet a brand new ultra-villain in Marius, a monster who is completely different from any Selene has faced. He’s not quite a full-on vampire, and he’s not quite a full-on lycan – he’s something far more menacing… and big, and to be honest, damn cool!
Marius’ character is actually pretty bad ass, and when fully transformed into the nemesis he is, he looks extremely wicked. And we get another plus as this isn’t Underworld: Awakening CGI crap here, this is noticeably stronger and far more fluent on screen. He’s a solid villain, no doubt. But can Selene overcome a monstrosity she’s yet to face?
As is customary for the franchise the acting is far stronger than one might expect. Very few performers miss a beat, and Kate Beckinsale, Theo James and newcomer (Marius), Tobias Menzies impresses as the final villain.
Much like the previous four franchise entries, the film looks gorgeous. The action under constant moonlight looks brilliant, and at times creates an almost monochrome appearance. The action sequences are well choreographed and the gore, while not quite as graphic as a few of the previous entries, is still impressive.
There are a few plot points that feel a little convoluted, so if you’re hoping to follow the storyline as closely as possible, you’ll need to watch this one with zero distractions. If you’re mentally sidetracked, you may find yourself missing relevant revelations. On the plus side, if you do happen to fall a bit behind in the story, the action will carry you through, and in some cases backtrack to clear up a few details you may have missed.
Underworld: Blood Wars is an enormous improvement over Underworld: Awakening, which should please plenty of hardcore fans. To see a fifth film in a franchise reach new compelling heights while distancing itself from weaker installments in the series is a big plus. And if you’ve been holding off on catching this one as a result of your disappointment with Awakening, discard the negativity and give it a go. It’s heavy on action, it’s fairly well-written and it features a showdown that ranks among the best of the franchise.
Underworld: Blood Wars isn’t a flawless film, but it does a lot of things right, and it just might help you forget the travesty that was Underworld: Awakening.