Years ago, before vampires were glittering in the sun, another movie chose a darker presentation for the occult world. This series brought a war between the werewolves and vampires, in a stunning action film that sealed Kate Beckinsale as a monster slaying queen. If you’ve guessed Underworld, you’re right, and you can probably guess that the fifth movie is the theme of my latest review. Will the fifth installment keep us enthralled in the centuries long war, or will it turn it to ash like a vampire in the sun. Robbie K is back with another review, and as always I’m here to share my opinions on another movie. Let’s get started.
- Better story than four
- Cool costumes and design
- Underworld Action…somewhat.
For those who liked Underworld Awakening, I don’t mean to step on any toes. However, Blood Wars was a much better story for me. Dropping most of the genetic science, this film goes back to the feuding family, Game of Thrones aristocracy we loved in the previous films. Selene’s journey through the Vampire politics comes back in full force, teetering the fine line of trust and fear at her race’s true intentions. It feels like a traditional Underworld story and provides some answers to the lingering questions and complicated family ties. This is the kind of tale that got us hooked into the series, and fit much better than the proceeding film.
In regards to the costumes, I always liked the outfit designs our cast wears. The team once again combines modern with traditional to craft ensembles that represent each factions style. Our vampires take on the rich, aristocratic dresses and tuxes, while the lycans get the urban warrior look that screams grunge. I myself like the northern faction’s looks the best, part mystical elf and part deadly vampire that work very well in the winter tundra fortress. Regardless of who you are rooting for, know they will look good doing it.
But the biggest selling point of this movie is the action the film brings to the table. Blood Wars certainly has the war theme to it filled with lots of gun play, modern war machines, and more gun play. It takes a step back to the first movie’s fight sequences and gives you plenty of CGI death, complete with bloody gore, to fill your appetite. But between the bouts of gunplay, the fifth installment mixes things up with some martial arts and swordplay resulting in some satisfying finishes. The scenes are certainly not the flashiest things to grace the screen, but they fit well in the Underworld Universe.
- Too much in one story
- Very rushed at times
- Plot gaps that follow
- Not focusing on other characters
- Action short lives/lacking suspense
Despite the improvement in the story, Blood Wars still struggles with balancing the various aspects of the tale. This installment crams a lot of tales into one including redemption, searching for her daughter, weird romances, and a lot more I don’t have room to write. While this brings a very diverse plot, it also brings a very rushed delivery, with each arc lacking the details to build suspense and really sell it. Even the editing could have used a little polishing to help organize the story a little better, instead of jumping between all the revelations haphazardly. And despite all the revelations and story arcs in this film, Blood Wars still has plot gaps in it, some strategically used to coax a sixth film, and some unintentional.
In addition, I was also disappointed at not exploring more avenues with some of the other characters as well. Yes, the story is about Selene and her new male colleague David, so naturally they would get the most screen time. However, they had new characters they really could have developed to add some more depth to the story. Marius the big bad lycan really could have been an awesome villain and the northern vampire clan leader could have brought a new set of skills to the table to complement Selene. However, they dropped these characters to the backburners and left me disappointed at the lost potential..
Finally let’s talk about the action. Yes, the action is fitting of the Underworld series, but it still needs to be better developed for me. Many of the shooting bouts were very simplistic and dry, reduced to a bunch of extras falling or wielding plastic looking guns. In addition, many of the battles are reduced to swarm syndrome where all the extras are shown in a wide pan over that again lacks the details I like to see. And as for the martial arts and sword scenes, well they were mostly short lived that they weren’t necessary. They had some really cool ideas, but these fights were either awkwardly placed or so short they aren’t worth mentioning. Such a shame when you consider how far they pushed the action all those years ago. There wasn’t much urgency to these battles, and I felt kind of bored with them due to the lack of suspense.
Underworld Blood Wars isn’t that bad of a movie and probably will deliver what most expect. It took a step back to its roots, and delivered a story that we are all familiar with. However, there was just too much for me in this tale and I wasn’t impressed with how lackluster these elements were. In addition, the battles (while fitting) also needed some tweaking to help bring that edge and suspense to make the movie more exciting. Regardless, this reviewer suggests waiting on this film to hit your local Redbox vendor, or at least not see it in 3-D.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 5.0