Published on January 18th, 2017 | by Gareth Von Kallenbach0
Underworld: Blood Wars
Reviewed by Chris Daniels
The latest installment of the Underworld franchise will not make you happy, but it may entertain you.
Let my preamble consist of this important note: I am a huge fan of the property. With that in mind, we’ll continue.
Kate Beckinsale is back in her black, skin-tight vinyl to deal death and continue the war that’s raged for 1500 years. While a few characters from previous movies show up in this film, most roles are taken by fresh faces. Scenes from the old movies as inserted under the guise of memories narrated by Selene, as well as the jumpy blood memories.
With so many films preceding this one, the creators were kind enough to run us through the major events that set up the current plot. However, as happens with most sequels, I cursed myself for not remembering to watch the previous film beforehand. I recommend doing so; it had been so long I’d forgotten connections and details.
The story of the war continues. The current crisis is coming to a head with a powerful Lycan named Marius in command of the pack. They are intent upon winning the war, once and for all, with a concentrated assault.
Both sides seek avenues to make their species more powerful, and in this case, it’s Selene’s daughter.
The action sequences are shot in the same choppy style as in previous films, but are somehow not captured as beautifully as before.
The plot proceeds at a breakneck pace, often too fast for its own good. Whether it’s due to poor writing, poor direction, or some combination of both, the short scenes feel forced. They exist purely as plot points and do little to attach the audience to the characters. Though the film was marketed as “the final showdown,” it lacks the same epic feeling of the previous one. It’s clear they are trying to milk this franchise for all it’s worth. The payout we all desperately want — a conclusive ending — just won’t come.
The crowning failure comes at a pivotal point when two characters are screaming at each other while pushing bullets out of their skin. It made me feel like I was watching a campy, low-budget action flick. It was so bad that my movie buddy and I started laughing out loud.
We are both huge fans of the property, but were greatly disappointed by poor movie-making and the lack of closure to the story. They probably won’t be given another chance to finish it.
Despite all of this, the acting is actually pretty good. And let’s be honest here: if you are a fan of this franchise, you’re going to go watch it no matter what I say. That’s fine, but don’t go in with high expectations. You can extract some entertainment, but this is just not a good film.
2 out of 5 Stars
Edited By: Jeff Boehm