Title: Underworld Blood Wars
Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Theo James, Trent Garrett, Tobias Menzies, Lara Pulver
Director: Anna Foerster
Released: OUT NOW
Time: 1 Hour 32 Minutes
The plot is sketchy at best, this story has been running for five films now including a prequel. It’s basically Vampires and Werewovles having a since-time-began scrap for superiority. Underworld Blood Wars is a fairly slick, but also really dark, film that clearly puts stylish violence, over-the-top gun battles and rather unexpectedly brutal gore, over storyline and thematic substance.
Charles Dance turns up as a Dracula-like father figure and he is good for the screen time he is allowed. Tobias Menzies on the other hand is a somewhat silly werewolf terrorist character. The other main actors are an insipid Theo James and Lara Pulver, whois pretty good as a villainous femme fatale vampire. But this film and franchise belongs to Kate Beckinsale and other characters do come and go.
This film, and to a lesser extent the entire franchise has taken a critical beating. But let’s be clear, Beckinsale is a fine actress who has found her own franchise which she richly deserves. She probably loves the franchise (rather than some people would have you believe - is tied to a contract) and who could blame her? Maybe the series has run on too long, but this is the way of the film world these days, franchises run and run, much like the (admittedly superior) Resident Evil series.
Beckinsale is the lead actress in a big budget production. It’s a steady acting job where she gets well paid and gets the chance to work with people who will by now have become like family to her. And she gets to kick ass in a sexy tight costume! Beckinsale is clearly not the problem here. The film falters somewhat in its rather unfocused direction from first time director Anna Foerster who is also new to the franchise. Perhaps bringing Len Wiseman back on board would have been better. And the scripting by Kyle Ward and Cory Goodman is a bit hit and miss. Some of the actors will not be happy at having to perform this dire-logue.
But ultimately this is silly, mindless, action that Underworld fans will enjoy and others can just watch for a Friday night laugh. Don’t think too deeply, switch your brain to neutral and just enjoy it for what it is meant to be.