Sunday, January 8, 2017

Underworld: Blood Wars

Movie Name: Underworld: Blood Wars
Year of Release: 2016
Director:Anna Foerster
Stars: Kate Beckinsale, Theo James, Charles Dance, Tobias Menzies, Lara Pulver, James Faulkner, Peter Andersson, Clementine Nicholson, Bradley James, Daisy Head, Brian Caspe
Genre: Action, Horror
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 1
View Trailer Here

The "Underworld" saga continues, with "Blood Wars" being the 5th film in this series. The film is Anna Foerster's feature debut, following her career directing TV episodes for "Outlander" and "Criminal Minds" and a cinematographer career (she lensed Roland Emmerich's "Anonymous" and "White House Down").  The film follows Selene in her ongoing battle to avoid capture by the vampires who believe she betrayed them, and the lycans/werewolves who want her blood so they can find the whereabouts of her daughter. This time around, Selene gets rescued by David (a character introduced in the previous film, whose coven was destroyed), and they both are taken to a new coven, where other machinations are in place. These intrigues force them to seek asylum in another remote coven, where a different type of vampires live. While there, David learns more about his background, and Selene comes to understand a new philosophy which simultaneously gives her more enhanced powers. It's up to her and David to avoid a brutal slaying of both races as a final confrontation looms.
The "Underworld" series always had a rather flimsy concept underlying the sheer beauty of its leading lady. The original film placed a vampire and a werewolf falling in love, with both races involved in a bitter and long lasting war (very much in the tradition of such classics as Robert Wise's "West Side Story", except for the races angle and the general quality that distinguishes the features). The sequels have been an expansion of this universe, with additional characters added to satisfy the origin of these main characters and how these plots come together. With the disappearance of Michael (and love interest) after the second film, the latest films have placed Selene trying to find her place in the world, however the narratives are definitely more interested in playing the action aspect of it, and not so much the quest of the leading character. That becomes quite apparent in this latest feature, where the story has almost no semblance of coherence, and the motivation of the characters seems to be simply to move back and forth and wear dark clothes. It's quite possibly the worst film in the series with a poorly constructed plot, and what's worse, with a central character that has almost nothing to do, except look confused and surprised. The only salvation the film has lies in its cast, which is surprisingly good, namely Kate Beckinsale (who needs to close this chapter in her career), Charles Dance and Lara Pulver. It's a film that has no point of view, filled with cliches, and sadly without much interest.