UNDERWORLD: BLOOD WARS (Anna Foerster). 91 minutes. Opens Friday (January 6). See listing. Rating: N
I have seen, and reviewed, all five of the Underworld movies despite never enjoying a moment of them. But they keep making them, and I know the mythology now, so I keep going. I should probably stop; God knows if I don’t get anything out of them now, I never will.
Underworld: Blood Wars gave me nothing to change my stance, but of course it wasn’t made to. This latest journey into the cobalt-and-black series where vampires and werewolves are locked in an eternal war – and one that’s been no easier with the advent of automatic weapons – does its best to give fans of the exhausting, exhausted franchise what they want.
And what’s that? Well, it seems to boil down to shots of Kate Beckinsale wearing that rubber catsuit and jumping over things while various hordes of vampires and werewolves stand at opposite ends of rooms and corridors unloading ordnance at one another.
The monotony is broken up with long, dull conversations between aristocratic vampires about succession and power, this time set in motion by calculating new player Semira (Lara Pulver, who is too good for this shit and clearly knows it).
Most of the plot points in 2012’s Underworld: Awakening are ignored, forcing Selene’s newly revealed daughter Eve to sit this one out so screenwriter Cory Goodman and director Anna Foerster can have more vampire/Lycan shootouts and send Selene and her ally David (Theo James) on a side mission to a previously unmentioned vampire sanctuary in “the north” that lets the production riff on Game Of Thrones for half an hour. Why? I don’t know. They ran out of story in the second one and now it’s all about keeping the property alive.
It’s truly depressing to watch Beckinsale go through the motions here after her delightful performance in Whit Stillman’s Love & Friendship last year, but that’s the industry for you.