Title: Underworld: Blood Wars (2016)
Director: Anna Foerster
Writer: Cory Goodman
Story by: Kyle Ward, Cory Goodman
Based on: Characters by Kevin Grevioux, Len Wiseman, and Danny McBride
Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Theo James, Lara Pulver, Charles Dance, Tobias Menzies, Bradley James, Alicia Vela-Bailey, Daisy Head, Trent Garrett, Clementine Nicholson, James Faulkner, Sveta Driga, and Oliver Stark
Genres: Action, Fantasy, Horror, Thriller
Running Time: 91 minutes
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sex & nudity, strong violence & gore, profanity, and frightening/intense scenes
Production Company: Lakeshore Entertainment, Sketch Films
Distributed by: Screen Gems
Vampire death dealer Selene (Kate Beckinsale) must fend off brutal attacks from both the Lycan clan and the Vampire faction that betrayed her. With her only allies, David (Theo James) and his father Thomas (Charles Dance), she must stop the eternal war between Lycans and Vampires, even if it means she has to make the ultimate sacrifice.
When I first knew that Underworld: Blood Wars is showing in the theatre, I kind of excited. It’s been four years since the last time I saw Kate Beckinsale as vampire Selene. That’s why I don’t mind going to the theatre alone. I am super excited to see Kate Beckinsale! She is one of my favourite actresses and I really love her! Anyway, this is the third film this year that uses ‘war’ as the title. We have Captain America: Civil War (2016) and The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016) before. Seriously? Why the hell they wanted to use ‘war’ as the title. I just don’t get it.
Nevertheless, I really expected something good from Underworld: Blood Wars. It’s been four years since Underworld: Awakening (2012) and I really miss Selene. Kate Beckinsale really pulled it off in portraying Selene. You just can’t imagine Selene was portrayed by other actresses.Aside from Kate Beckinsale, I am also excited because of Theo James. He has played in Underworld: Awakening but back then I wasn’t as excited as now. I think he has become sexier and hotter. The last time I saw him is in Allegiant (2016), so I am super excited to see him here.
“She is the purest of us all.” – Thomas
After all these years, I did forget about the previous Underworld films. Only glimpses have come to my mind. Lucky for me—for us actually—the filmmakers decided to give us some summary of the previous films and therefore, I kind of reminded of what happened before. Although if you haven’t watched any of Underworld films before, this part is still a bit of confusing and doesn’t explain what’s going on in the past. So I suggest you watched the previous four films.
If you want to only see the versatile vampire death dealer, Selene, Underworld: Blood Wars can pretty much satisfy you. With some upgrades, Selene becomes way cooler and more superb than before. However, in terms of story, I don’t think Underworld: Blood Wars pulled it off. Yes, Kate Beckinsale offered astounding performances with all the action scenes—fighting, shooting, jumping, and all—but the story is not supporting her acting skill. It is still the same bloody killing Lycans and vampires all the time, the never ending vampire-Lycans feud. It’s quite a shame to think that the original Underworld (2013) is actually a more fun film with a clear story line. I think audiences would get tired of watching a never-ending feud between vampire and Lycans. Not only the feud between vampires and Lycans/werewolves, Selene has to worry about all the vampires that wanted to kill her, again. Nothing changes much here. What’s more confusing is the fact that Selene’s daughter—or perhaps her blood—seemed to have a major role but up until the end, she is nowhere to be seen. Since Underworld: Awakening, we all know that Selene’s daughter, Eve, played a major role but up until now, they haven’t told us what role does she have that everyone seems to want her. It’s confusing and frustrating at the same time. However, despite all those downsides, I like the chemistry between Selene and David. Even if there’s nothing between them—nothing yet, I hope—they did look great together. I just wish there’s something going on between them soon.
“She is the key to the futures of Lycans and Vampires. And when we have the blood of Selene and her daughter, we will be invincible.” – Marius
Underworld: Blood Wars still offers you a bloody fight. I don’t know if it’s more bloody or less than before, but if you are disturbed by something like that, this is not the right film for you. Though, in fairness, I think the fighting scenes are no longer as much as previous films. I am not saying that I like a bloody fight with so much blood everywhere. However, to tell you the truth, I’d rather see that than hearing some uninteresting conversations between the vampires and the Lycans. The conversation only felt better whenever Selene or David (Theo James’s character) was involved. What’s more frustrating about Underworld: Blood Wars is the fact that when you think you’ll see something cool and awesome about to happen, it only happened in a blink. At least that’s what I felt when I watched the film. Whenever I saw things that seemed pretty cool, it only happened like a few seconds and then cut. Super anti-climax. Most of the scenes happened too quick that I was left hanging. I mean, most of the scenes only happened for several minutes and then it’s done. It’s like, really? It’s done just like that? And then we have to move on to another scene that will leave a question mark in my mind again. The question mark is not literally a question, it’s more of a disbelief. Because, yeah, I don’t believe that that particular scene happened so quick.
This fifth film of Underworld franchise is somewhat very predictable. The basic storyline is somehow the same and I am able to guess what’s going to happen next, at least most of it. It’s like Selene doesn’t make any progress at all since the first film. The vampire and Lycans are still at war, betrayal between their own kin still there. Like, really? After five films, nothing changed? Of course, the addition of the Nordic vampires gave us a new perspective of the vampires but still, it’s not enough. At least to me personally.
Still, I have to praise Kate Beckinsale. After all these years, she can still really pulled it off wearing those tight leather suit and doing some fights. Can you believe that she’s already 43 years old? No, I don’t think so. She doesn’t look even near the age of 40. Not with that kind of stunt. No way! It’s bloody awesome. Kate Beckinsale is such a beautiful classy person! I really love her. Like, really really love her. As for Theo James, well, after seeing him many times in Divergent—even though Underworld: Awakening comes first—I think you don’t need to question his acting skill. He’s a great actor indeed. Charles Dance is not bad either. His fight scene is not much but still, he can pull it off. So did Lara Pulver, who played Samira in this film. I kind of like her voice. It’s a bit sexy. I’ve first seen her in Sherlock TV series so it’s good to see her join the Underworld franchise. I am also excited about Bradley James. Ever since Merlin (2008-2012), I never saw his films. That’s why I am excited to see him in Underworld: Blood Wars. Although these actors and actresses are really good in portraying their characters, especially they have to do fight scenes, the storyline itself didn’t support them. It’s boring and pretty much the same storyline like the previous films.
I don’t think Underworld: Blood Wars is a bad film. I just think that after four films, finally, this film can give us some sort of enlightenment. We need something new, not the same old story. We have enough of that. So if you’re expecting a great story, I don’t think Underworld: Blood Wars will manage your expectation. I don’t hate vampire stories. In fact, I like vampire stories. I kind of find vampire stories these days are very interesting. Underworld is surely one of those films that made me interested in vampire stories. It’s just this time, Underworld: Blood Wars doesn’t exceed my expectations. There are so many things that left unanswered, again. However, if you miss Kate Beckinsale and wish to see her again doing stunts with those black leather suit, this is the right film to treat you. Plus, you get to see the hot Theo James as well.
I give Underworld: Blood Wars 6.5 out of 10 stars.