So here we are, another film series which has overstayed its welcome. Not to dissimilar to Transformers, Pirates of the Caribbean and Resident Evil to name a few.
Whilst the original Underworld (2003) was actually a decent action film, taking the normal vampire storyline and twisting it in an exciting and interesting way, the series has gradually gotten weaker and weaker with time.
The follow up, Underworld Evolution (2006) went for the hard R-rating, amping up the violence, sex and general tone of its predecessor. The third, the poor (and Kate Beckinsale-less) Rise of the Lycans (2009) was a bitter disappointment and probably the start of the sharp downwards spiral that would result in the dull, soulless fifth installment Blood Wars (2016).
Now don’t get me wrong, watching Kate B strutting round in a leather catsuit is not something I would usually complain about, and for that matter neither is the inclusion of Game of Thrones actor Charles Dance, but this film screams out to the audience that Underworld itself is as dead as the characters portrayed in it.
We pick up the story not long after the events of Awakening (2012) with Selene (Beckinsale) being hunted by werewolves and vampires alike, both groups aiming to find her daughter (the first natural born hybrid of both species). And that is really where the story stays…sadly.
After a number of set pieces, lots of poorly-faked blood, and numerous amounts of bullets being fired, we get to experience predictable plot twists and an ending which is definitely just setting up the next.
One question remains, where does this lead us? How can the series continue after three awful installments? And why do I care about any of this? For regular film goers, this probably isn’t unusual in the sense that a production company is using a film property to death, exhausting every last strand of what could potentially be a story or plot point and skewering it in the heart with a wooden stake.
I wish I could have anything positive to say about this film, I really do, because I love movies and I have a thing for Beckinsale, but I cannot. As the old saying goes: you cannot polish a turd. Underworld: Blood Wars proves that well.
Also, WHY IS EVERYONE ENGLISH?! We aren’t all blood-sucking monsters or vicious beasts (excluding the House of Lords of course).