By Cynthia Ayala
“Vampire death dealer, Selene fights to end the eternal war between the Lycan clan and the Vampire faction that betrayed her.”
Underworld: Blood Wars is the fifth film in the franchise and while it’s better than it’s predecessor, the film, while enjoyable, is not without faults. The story isn’t the element of the film that suffers. It’s a solid story, but the problem lies with the franchise. In Awakening, humans discovered that Vampires and werewolves were real. Yet in this film it’s almost like that never happened. Let’s rephrase, it’s like it didn’t happen at all. It’s hard to reconcile that with this film that does tie directly to it. Discovery is inevitable considering that Alexander Corvinus was the one who cleaned up all the messes and kept their existence secret, as established in Evolution, but the film seems to have moved past those elements and went back to the beginning, to forget about humans altogether and focus on what made the series so strong to begin with: the war between Lycans and Vampires.
Going back to the roots of the story is always a good way to repair some damage to any franchise, it’s also a great way to close the book on any series. But the story here does more by delving into the past of the Vampire’s and going to the Nordic coven who have their own secrets. It was a good story to add more lore to the franchise and allow for the vampires to develop and evolve as a species. They can walk in the sunlight now, and some, like Selene and Lena, have become more enhanced. Vampires are notoriously hard to kill so to go to that, to the world between life and death and use that element to evolve the vampires for the film isn’t outside the realm of believability and was a smart and creative direction for the film to take.
Another problem of the film was the use of excessive blood. Looking back at the first two movies in the franchise, there was a stronger focus on storytelling than there was on excessive special effects on butchery. It’s obvious that someone wanted that to justify using 3D, but really, it was mundane and took away from the story because it was so unnecessary and it overshadowed the story and the strong characters.
Overall, it was a half decent film that was so much better than Awakening which is a storyline that really should have been left for when they were ready to really end the series. But this film has opened doors for the franchise, offering a second closure to it, making it a strong ending and new beginning. The Vampires are changing, the werewolves are changing, and around them so is the world, and this film was able to tap into all those changes to put together a strong story. (★★☆☆ | C+)
Directed by Anna Foerster
Screenplay by Cory Goodman
Distributed by Screen Gems