Directed by: Mark Waters
Screenplay by: Daniel Waters
Based on Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Starring: Zoey Deutch, Lucy Fry, Danila Kozlovsky, Gabriel Byrne, Dominic Sherwood, Olga Kurylenko, Sarah Hyland, Cameron Monaghan, Sami Gayle, Ashley Charles, Claire Foy & Joely Richardson
The story features a 17-year-old Dhampir (half-human/vampire) guardian-in-training Rose Hathaway, and her royal Moroi (the peaceful, mortal vampires) best friend Lissa Dragomir living discreetly within our world, and had escaped from their boarding school St. Vladimir’s Academy two years prior to the story. They are soon dragged back to the Academy, rediscovering the dangerous hierarchy within it, along with lies, rumors, and secrets. Rose starts to form an attraction to her Russian Dhampir mentor, Dimitri Belikov. The two best friends begin to realize that the threat of the Strigoi (bloodthirsty, undead vampires) is bigger than ever.
First, I would like to state that I am an avid fan of this book series, so whenever I see any book turned into a movie, I go into the theater prepared to be incredibly picky about everything wrong or right with the film. That being said, I would like to say, as a movie this was a fun action-packed movie and as an adaptation, it did the book proud and deserves a sequel.
The trailers and movie posters fail to captivate, making this movie come off as incredibly juvenile, a teen movie that will not attract many other audiences. Now while this movie may be aimed at teens and tweens, presenting the movie in that way does not do this movie justice.
No, this is not your generic vampire movie. The movie recreates the vampire mythos by creating three types of vampires, the Moroi, the moral vampires, the Dhampir, half-human/vampire, and the Strigoi, the bloodthirsty undead vampires. The Moroi can go out in the daylight while the Strigoi cannot. After spending time on the run in the real world outside of the St. Vladimir’s, the Vampire Academy, the pair of girls are tracked down and dragged back to the school, the place where they were running from. And the plot going along, not only to showcase just how cruel bullying can be, and the effects it has on people, like hurting themselves, but it gives viewers something more than just a superficial story about vampires and high school drama. Although it is a fictional story set in a high school setting with supernatural story, it still touches upon some serious issues. That adds to the story.
Along with the fantastical and action packed story, the dialogue was also captivating. The actors had chemistry with one another and really brought these characters to life. The narrative as well was not cheesy, except for that last bit at the end, and gave viewers a sense of who the main character, Rose Hathaway, was and where she stood in this world. Her narrative also explained the world she lives in and the realm this movie is set in. Zoey Deutch captured her character perfectly, giving views this fun bad girl who also has such a strong will to survive. Admittedly, there were times when Deutch delivered her lines with a sort of stiffness that make her look awkward and ill fit in the film, but those times few and far apart.
The actors did an amazing job tapping into their characters and giving viewers something fun to watch. Don’t let the title or posters fool you, this is not just some juvenile film just for chicks or teens, but a fun movie everyone will enjoy. Moreover, fans of the books will be very pleased with the outcome of the movie. ★★ ½ (out of 4 ☆’s | B+)