Underworld: Blood Wars review

If you happen to be my wife or one of the three people who follow my reviews (that I don’t emotionally blackmail into reading them) you’ll know that, while I love the finer things in life: chilled Riesling, Chopin, 50’s noir and pizza with sausage built into its crust; I also like hot-trash genre movies, especially if they turn into a franchise. When the editor handed me a stack of Blu-Rays, one of which was Underworld: Blood Wars, I was excited. 

I approached this film with trepidation since I had just finished watching the previous effort, Underworld Awakening, which was incomprehensible and felt like an Underworld movie in name alone but I was more than pleasantly surprised with this. 

Kate Beckinsale’s Selene is back but her world has completely changed. Humans have finally grown bored of being monster food and are bringing the pain to Werewolf and Vampire kind. However, Werewolves having previous infiltrated the higher levels of human government were using the DNA of Michael Corvin, the mythical hybrid of vamp and wolf, and Kate Beckinsale’s little-un, also a hybrid, to breed super wolves. Selene, who had to hide her daughter to keep her safe, is distraught and alone and under threat from all sides. 

What stands out about Underworld: Blood Wars is the pace. It’s a lot slower than the previous movie, which is my euphemism for it ‘has an actual story and is directed competently’. There is a different energy, it’s trying to tell an, albeit fucking stupid, story.

Director Anna Foerster tries to add some Game of Thrones style backstabbery to proceedings. While not completely successful, it’s welcome and much needed after the previous movie’s muddied story and low-budget feel. 

Now your mileage may vary at this point, these movies are convoluted and even more so if you haven’t been following from day one. The obligatory recap probably isn’t enough to catch you up with everything that has happened in the preceding 5, count ‘em, 5 movies. 

Now when I say I like It I mean it relatively. I like a lot of trash and I can recognise that there is a lot wrong with this movie. The Underworld series has always been analogous to the Resident Evil movies. Think of them like Resi’s classier cousin, the one that doesn’t get wasted and piss herself at every wedding. It is more restrained less dumb version of that type of film. But it’s still dumb… but I like it so whatever.

EXTRAS: Just a bunch of fairly lame featurettes – the kind of stuff movie channels use to pad out the time between the next film starting. There was nothing in the extras that enhances the purchase of this movie unless you like lame interviews. The Evil Evolved (06:00) A quick featurette on the bad guys of the piece Building a Blood War (12:00) Bog standard behind the scenes feature detailing the usual process of making the movie. The kind of thing they use to fill airtime in between films on Sky Cinema. The Evolution of Selene (08:00) A glimpse into how Selene has changed and why she has a nifty new hairdo. Old & New Blood (06:00) A look at the production design behind the fancy white-haired vamps. There is also a ‘Graphic Novel’ A comic version of the movie. Flicking through comics on a DVD player is not my idea of a good time but if this is your thing, who am I to kink shame?

Daniel Akinbola is a Screenjabber contributor

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