This is one movie that you could skip out on and likely forget ever existed.
Currently sitting at a franchise low of 16% on RT, the fifth installment in the dreary Underworld film series, ‘Blood Wars’ stands out as being easily the most boring experience this line of movies has delivered to the theater since the original back in 2003 (14 years ago, holy crap!). That said, Kate Beckinsale has not aged a day and is easily the only enjoyable part about this film.
The film once again pits vampires against vampires as well as their life-long foes, the lichens (werewolves who can transform on command, more or less). The head of the vampires and their followers are after Selene (Beckinsale) for treason against their own (Selene killed a bunch of important vampire leaders in earlier films in the series, which this film goes into a dozen or so flashbacks to fill you in on everything that happened in the four previous films) due to killing Selene’s former lover and lichen-vampire hybrid, Michael. What’s more, Selene’s daughter is in hiding for fear of her own life as she is the offspring of Selene and Michael and contains a unique blood-type that allows her to heal the dead, walk in daylight, and pretty much a bunch of other supernatural grab bag of monster powers. Because of this, the lichens and the vampires are also after Selene in order to interrogate her to find the location of her daughter so as to steal her blood and become more powerful. Then there is some weird romance going on between a vampire and lichen and everything has a blue tint and no one ever reloads their automatic weapons and all sorts of weird nonsense occurs. But a bunch of actors from Game of Thrones are in the film, and they happened to deliver above sub-par performances so that was a highlight.
Look, this is the fifth in the film series, and while similar franchises like Resident Evil are excessively campy, the filmmakers know exactly what sort of movies they have on their hands. It’s absurd, it has comedic relief, there are all sorts of big explosions and no one takes it seriously. The RE movies are not trying to win any Oscars here. Then there is Underworld, a franchise that sits somewhere in the same ballpark as RE, with excessive absurdity, storylines riddled with plotholes and cliches and lots of gunfire. But here is the difference: Underworld takes itself WAY too seriously. Specifically Blood Wars, takes itself so seriously, so much so that there comes a point where even if you tried to laugh at the sheer idea of how seriously this film takes itself, you couldn’t. It’s kind of like when you see a terrible movie, and you know it’s bad, but you can find a reason to get enjoyment out of it anyway- this is the opposite of that feeling.
Throughout the entire film, there is not one single attempt to engage the audience into any sort of laughter or even a snicker for that matter. And I get it, this film is not a comedy. But not even one attempt at some sort of humor with a punchline or sweet kill with an epic one-liner? Come on. Blood Wars doesn’t even try, unless it desperately tried to make sure you didn’t find any sort of enjoyment in the 98 or so minute run-time, in which case it succeeds. Selene, the main vampire, pulls off one semi-neat kill against a lichen where she *SPOILER* rips out the main villains spine. Sure, we just told you the best part about the film. But we also saved you $15.
Why is everything always blue? Its a metaphor for how the audience feels watching this film.
Also, the CGI in this movie is so overwhelmingly bad, that it’s hard to believe this is the fifth entry in a franchise that has major stars in it. Kate Beckinsale, Charles Dance, Tobias Menzies, Lara Pulver, these are all extremely talented actors and actresses but even they can’t do anything to save this film from being so poorly directed, visually jarring, awkwardly edited, and just so damn boring, that the majority of the audience was on their phones for at least one-third of the movie. The entire theater was lighting up with people being more interested in who tagged them in a recent Facebook post to even give a sh*t about what lame nonsense was taking place on the screen in front of them.
Overall, this is one movie that just should come, go, and never be spoken of again. It does very little to entertain anyone at all ever, with poor CGI, a story that goes practically nowhere, which gave me reason to my phone half of a dozen times and even go so far as look at the upcoming forecast twice, because that was more interesting that what was happening in the movie.
The first Underworld was relatively good, and perhaps maybe the first sequel. But when will Hollywood get it through their heads that the whole vampire v werewolf thing died long ago? Then again, when Underworld: Blood Wars manages to rake in $70m on a $35m budget, you can see how this is probably never going to end. Yeah, a sixth one is being worked on and even a tv series is coming. Ugh.
- Charles Dance
- Everything Else