We’ve already gotten way too many Underworld movies to be excited about anything new from this franchise at this point. However, Kate Beckinsale’s Selene keeps coming back to the big screen to kick some mythological butt every other year. It’s hard to talk about the Underworld franchise as a whole without mentioning how weak they are as films, aside from the first one, which was a fun little film. Underworld: Blood Wars brought a fresh director, and a fresh new set of minds to tackle this stale franchise. Did it work? Nope.
How to Download Underworld: Blood Wars
You can download the film from a digital store. You can also stream it. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice. Before you see this 2017 film, check out also the first fourth films in the series – Underworld (2003), Underworld: Evolution (2006), Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009), and Underworld: Awakening (2011).
The Movie Review
Sink your fangs into Underworld: Blood Wars, the fifth installment in the vampire-werewolf franchise that simply doesn’t stop! Back again in her classic leather-clad fashion, Selene discovers that her daughter, Eve, is in danger. And, of course, she’s the only one who can save her because she’s Selene. In a twist of fate, Selene discovers that her daughter is the key to a new super-weapon that could destroy both vampires and werewolves.
So, it’s not just the werewolves who are after Selene and her daughter, the vampires are also trying to hunt her down. Selene is once again stuck in the middle of this ridiculous war between the two species, just like in every Underworld movie.
Underworld: Blood Wars chooses to delve deeper into Selene’s backstory, providing some insight into the mythology of the series. However, it does so at the expense of other characters. For instance, the character of David, who is Selene’s ally throughout the movie, feels underdeveloped and underutilized.
Despite being an important part of the story, his motivations and backstory are not explored in depth, and his relationship with Selene feels shallow and underdeveloped.
As much as we all love a good action film, Underworld: Blood Wars falls prey to some common pitfalls of the genre. The narrative explores themes of love, sacrifice, and redemption, but in a way that feels as predictable as a vampire’s aversion to garlic.
The film’s pacing issues can also be a bit draining, with some scenes feeling rushed, while others drag on longer than a vampire’s immortal life. The exposition-heavy scenes can leave you feeling as bored as you possibly can, and the action scenes, while visually impressive, can feel as repetitive as the franchise itself.
While Kate Beckinsale shines as Selene, there are some supporting actors who struggle to transform into their characters despite the moonlight. Lara Pulver’s portrayal of the villainous Semira can come off as over-the-top. Her delivery feels a bit forced, and she lacks the subtlety for such a role.
Meanwhile, some of the other supporting cast members, like Bradley James as the werewolf Varga, are forgettable and feel like they were phoning it in.
Despite these shortcomings, there are still some standout performances in the film. Charles Dance, who plays the vampire elder Thomas, delivers a strong and nuanced performance, bringing a much-needed gravitas to the character. Theo James, who plays David, also provides a solid performance, doing a much better job than he did in Underworld Awakening.
At this point, I believe that the directors for the Underworld franchise simply just show up on set and scream ‘ACTION!’ Because, and I’m being brutally honest, most of the work is done by the action and stunt coordinators.
There’s barely any substance to these films aside from the well-executed action sequences, and that is more than enough for a film like this, but then it is bogged down by boring dialogue and dragged-on narrative moments that just don’t add anything to the film. The action in contrast is sleek, spicy, and super-gorgeous to look at with some good cinematography to boot.
The soundtrack is one thing that this franchise will never get right, no matter how many composers they change or how many creative decisions they take to ensure its quality gets better. The movie’s soundtrack, composed by Michael Wandmacher, does not add much to the film’s tense and foreboding atmosphere.
The score does complement the action and suspenseful scenes, but it is barely an aspect that you remember once you’re done watching the film.
Indulge in Underworld: Blood Wars, the fifth chapter in the ongoing vampire-werewolf saga that regrettably offers nothing new to the lore. Despite a fresh director and new visionaries behind the script, the film falls short of expectations.
Every single aspect of the film floats on the same predictable waters that made the previous films in the franchise so boring and repetitive. Sure, this film has higher stakes, but that only ensures that you notice the mistakes it makes.
- The action sequences are well-executed and visually impressive
- Kate Beckinsale, Charles Dance, and Theo James are great in their respective roles
- The franchise has become stale and the film doesn't bring anything new to the table
- The narrative is predictable and the pacing issues can leave the viewer feeling drained
- Some supporting cast members struggle to transform into their characters
- The dialogue is boring and the exposition-heavy scenes can be a bit tedious
- The soundtrack doesn't add much to the film's atmosphere