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MOVIE REVIEW: Underworld: Blood Wars (2016)

The golden years of horror franchises seem to be over. With Friday the 13th, and Hellraiser both looking to be rebooted, again, in the near future, the lingering bad taste of the Nightmare on Elm Street re-boot and who knows what in store for Halloween, it looks like the days of continuing series are in the past. Meanwhile Underworld: Blood Wars keeps the Vampire/Lycan series quietly churning on.
Knives and guns, vampires and werewolves are back and so is Beckinsale
I can hear the horror purists screaming now, "Underworld isn't horror!!" and that's okay, get it out. Honestly, I could write a whole article about how I agree with you. Maybe I will, but not today. The fact is a lot of people who identify as horror fans do love the Underworld series. A lot of them hate to admit it though. It's like the guilty pleasure of horror. Our own Fuller House without the annoyance of Bob Saget a couple of times a season.
However you feel about Underworld, Underworld: Blood Wars isn't likely to change your opinion. The film opened well enough that a sixth installment has already been approved, yet it was the lowest opening weekend for a film in the series, a sign it might slowly be running out of gas. Hey, it's been almost fifteen years since the original, and even a Prius can only go so far.
Theo James and Charles Dance protect a wounded Kate Beckinsale in Underworld: Blood Wars
For good or bad, Underworld: Blood Wars is basically more of the same. CGI werewolves, stylized fighting with beautiful heroes and villains. Kate Beckinsale is back in the skin tight spandex she has donned for four of the five installments, looking as delicious as ever. Beckinsale plays Selene, former death dealer now renegade vampire, but if you are reading this, I'm sure you already know all about Selene. Returning from the fourth installment, Underworld: Awakening, is Charles Dance (Game of Thrones, Dracula Untold) and Theo James (Divergent). Also in the cast is Laura Pulver (True Blood) and Daisy Head, the daughter of Anthony Head (Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Underworld Blood Wars is also the directorial debut of Anna Forrester.
From watching the trailers, you might be tempted to think the film revolves around the search for Selene's daughter Eve. However, the search never really happens. It's really, as I said above, just more of the same. Werewolves have a leader who unites them against the backstabbing and traitorous vampires. They make attempts to diverge from the standard formula but for the most part it keeps coming back home. There is mention of Eve, as the Lycans try to pry her location from Selene, but it always boils down to wolves against vamps. It does lead up to the sixth installment actually involving the hunt for Eve and a possible last hurrah for Beckinsale as the lead.
Basically if you like the Underworld series, you will probably like Blood Wars. It's not as good as the first installment, but I actually enjoyed it more than the last one. Beckinsale is still as fetching as ever, and I still enjoy watching her. Theo James makes a decent lead to replace the long since gone Scott Steadman, who I still think is actually Scott Stapp of Creed. The acting is decent enough for what it is. If you hate Underworld, this film won't convert you, and neither will Scott Stapp, but that's another story too.
My advice, if you are a hard core Underworld fan, or just need a dose of Beckinsale booty wiggle, rush on out to Underworld: Blood Wars. Anything other than full loyalty to the brand, wait for it to hit DVD or Netflix. I'm giving it five out of ten stars (don't hit me!) for being more of the same, stay the course, but a little extra sexy with Laura Culver.
So, there ya go - 5 out of 10 for Underworld: Blood Wars.

Posted by Allen Alberson

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