Underworld: Blood Wars (2017)

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Director: Anna Foerster

Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Charles Dance, Theo James

Review Author: Shaun

Rating: Not worth a can of Dutch

Kicking off 2017 with a bang: With the whole of Ireland being sick, I took this great opportunity to make myself feel even worse by watching the newest entry in the Underworld series. That’s right instead of treating myself to La La Land or Manchester by the sea – I choose to watch Underworld: Blood Wars.

The fifth installment in the Underworld sees Kate Beckinsale suit up in her black leather outfit once again as the Vampire warrior “Selene”. The film takes place after 2012’s Underworld Awakening and sees Beckinsale still caught up in a war between bloodsucking factions and a pack of werewolves. (Did Hollywood not learn from the Twilight series?)

Unlike the other cash grab monster movies, the Underworld series has slowed completely – an unwieldy ‘see what happened last time!’ montage is required to get the muddle of plot dropped five years ago in Underworld: Awakening started again for this fifth entry. Beckinsale follows up her personal triumph in Love and Friendship by getting back into the spray-on britches and a corset which can’t be as tight as the contract which binds her to this franchise. She traipse’s between monster factions who plot gloomily in Czech castles, caves and railway yards. Selene’s character growth includes a trip to the afterlife which grants her a new hairdo.

The supporting performances are poor at best with Charles Dance is back as his forgettable Dracula (Not even Tywin Lannister can save this train-wreck), Tobias Menzies as werewolf terrorist and Lara Pulver playing a level Disney villainess vamp with a leather and lace wardrobe, giving the impression that a TV quality drama cast are trying to work out the rules of a poorly translated fantasy role-playing game.

With painful script writing which backs in very hard to watch at times and ponderous direction from first-time director Anna Foerster, Blood Wars is tragically bereft of the pulp verve this nonsense needs to be tolerable. Given the slightest chance to have fun, this cast ought to be able to deliver at least entertaining scene – but everyone has been told just to get it over with and tread water till the next Underworld.

Overall the action is repetitive and CGI heavy – with monsters hacking and shooting each other at close range to little effect. A supposed master plan by a fearsome werewolf force to assault a fortified vampire stronghold involves driving three vans into a courtyard. I would only recommend this if you’re a fan of the Underworld series after that I would stay far-far-away from this piece of January Hollywood trash.

Check out Shaun’s top films of 2016.

Tweet us your #Top10 films of 2016 @ReelTimeDublin and we’ll judge you publicly for them!

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