Underworld: Blood Wars Review
Director: Anna Foerster.
Now, I'm familiar with the first two films, but I'll be honest, all that I can remember well is Kate Beckinsale in tightly cladded, black leather, looking like a hotter CatWoman, but in fact, she's a blood sucking bat woman. I didn't even know there was another two films! Rise of Lycans that was without Beckinsale (that might have something to do with it) and Awakening which did have Beckinsale.
TV director and cinematographer, Anna Foerster makes this her big screen debut, but it's not a good start. It's not horrendous and is properly a good opportunity out of a bad situation, however this unfortunately puts doubts in my mind about her Source Code 2 that's in currently in development.
I'm not sure what I missed but there appears to be a lot of back stabbing, characters defecting or returning for redemption. For someone who has skipped the previous two, it didn't really make much sense with the flashbacks but it's not really hard to figure out and follow.
It's unfortunately a messy and poorly scripted story, drowning in borrowed elements from other films, making it awfully predictable where it tries to be clever. One scene in particular immediately reminded me the battle at Helm's Deep in LotRs Two Towers. It's very rushed and it progresses faster than their superhuman healing powers. One minute they're on a train, then they're riding horses across a snow plain to all of sudden scaling a cliffside. Just seemed utterly pointless and stupid. There are characters and story elements that get introduced but are quickly pushed to one side to make way for more plot lines or twists, the side characters especially are not developed enough.
Beckinsale fits into her right leather comfortably but she isn't in the film as much as I was expecting, giving some of the story to Theo James' David. Again, because of this rushed though balanced storyline, you never feel like you're getting the full picture and being a fan of James, I believe he's capable of giving so much more. I want to see how he does on the frontline, they should give him a superhero tryout.
The action was as expected, decent enough to be entertaining but the bullet dodging makes it borderline spoof; and what's with all the grunting during the dramatic stand off scenes!? David grunts cuts to Marius grunting back, David grunts some more, Marius I think sighs and grunts at the same time, only more intense. This goes on for what feels like a good thirty seconds!
I didn't feel anything with the bad guys, in fact, I felt little for any of the characters. Marius, played by Tobias Menzies, wasn't really bad enough, don't know what to make of him. And Lara Pulver's Semira just appeared to be a cheap version of most of Eva Green's nasties.
I can't speak for the previous sequels but the first film boasted a decent soundtrack with tracks from Bowie, A Perfect Circle and Amy Lee from Evanescence, something that's the expected from this sub-genre of movies. Michael Wandmacher composes a fitting score but nothing memorable, and all sounds very much the same throughout.
It appears I don't have anything good to say about this movie, however, if I was of a younger generation of movie-goer, I might enjoy this as a brainless action fantasy flick. But I ended up laughing at a lot of it, especially the bullet dodging. It's not worthy of the big ticket price and it really doesn't urge me to watch the rest of franchise.
Running Time: 5
The Cast: 6
Job Description: 2
The Extra Bonus Point: 0