“Underworld: Blood Wars” stars Kate Beckinsale, Theo James, Lara Pulver, James Faulkner, and Charles Dance. Released on January 6, 2017, the film follows Selene as she seeks to end the war between the Vampires and the Lycans once and for all.
The film features the directorial debut of Anna Foerster, and it is the fifth installment in the Underworld film series. This is the type of franchise that I haven’t got into as much as Transformers or The Fast and the Furious or even Star Wars. There is another franchise that I didn’t get into that much as well, but that’s for another time. The last Underworld film I saw all the way through was Underworld: Awakening back in 2012. Everything else? Didn’t get a chance to. When I watched the trailer for the first time, I pretty much knew that critics were going to beat the living heck out of it. Why? Because critics hate unnecessary sequels. I took my mother to see this with me since she’s been following the franchise for quite some time (Shocking, I know). Let’s just say she liked it a lot better than I did.
Let’s start off with the things that I liked. The film did a good job with how they explain the entire series. If you’re watching it for the first time, you’ll be happy to know that the first few minutes gives you an insight on what was going on during the last four films. You don’t exactly need to watch the other films in order to understand the events leading up to Blood Wars. However, I might need to watch them in order to connect more with the characters. That’s probably my fault because I’m not a big Underworld follower like my mother. Another thing that I liked is that they kept the elements that made the Underworld movies likable, such as the tone, the concept, and its stylized violence. The action in this one was entertaining, but compared to the sequences in the other action films, it wasn’t very memorable or at the very least, heart pounding. The performances, including Beckinsale as Selene, were OK. They’re not special performances, but far from terrible.
While the film is quite stylish and pretty bloody, the overall story wasn’t able to connect with that type of style. There were plenty of scenes that I thought could’ve been portrayed in a more stronger perspective, but they were overshadowed by the vampire fights, the werewolf fights, and plenty of explanations. Again, that’s my fault for not being an Underworld follower. The editing during the first half of the film was quite choppy, especially during the first action sequence where it’s a bit hard to see sometimes. If you want people to watch the action, make sure that they can really see it. It got a bit better later on, but still...
Overall, as a person who doesn’t follow the franchise that started 14 years ago, “Underworld: Blood Wars” is a typical action horror sequel that fails to connect a strong story with its style and tone. There were a couple of things that I found tolerable, like Beckinsale’s portrayal as Selene and some entertaining sequences. Other than that, it’s made for those who enjoy these types of movies for what they are. Everyone else who doesn’t may want to look somewhere else. Maybe if I watch the other installments, I might be able to connect more with this one, but for now, I would consider it to be an OK sequel. As for my mother, she thought it was a good continuation of the franchise, and she would give it a B.