You have to be a fan to appreciate ‘Underworld: Blood Wars’

Underworld: Blood Wars

Underworld: Blood Wars

The Underworld franchise, which can best be described as the love child of “The Matrix” and an Anne Rice novel, has released its newest addition with “Blood Wars.”

Following the events of “Underworld: Evolution,” this film joins Selene (Kate Beckinsale) as she once again must contend with vampires and werewolves as both species wage war in one final battle for domination.

At this point in the franchise is honestly kind of pointless to describe the plot any further as it hasn’t changed much since the first Underworld film. Vampires and werewolves search for a special bloodline which will bring them power, our heroes try to stop them, yada, yada, yada, big battle and film ends.

Seriously, it’s the same story. Every. Single. Time. And without seeing the “Underworld: Evolution” a few minor plot points resolved in “Blood Wars” will go over the heads of casual viewers who drop in hoping for an entertaining movie.

There just isn’t enough in this film to really make the audience care.

The characters are hardly fleshed out in any meaningful way, making it heavily reliant on the audience being up to date with the previous films. The new characters we do get have motivations that are never fully explained and that swing back and forth.

The pace of the film is rushed at best and choppy at worst. The CGI is the weakest I’ve ever seen when it comes to an Underworld movie. And finally, the plot is wrapped up through a deus ex machina, which I reiterate doesn’t trigger any kind of reaction at all because the audience doesn’t have a reason to care.

The first Underworld movie was released in 2003, back in the day when the gothic look of black leather clothes and desaturated film stock was still considered cool. But now, in 2017, it just looks awkward. It’s kind of like digging up an old photo of yourself from junior high wearing a “Friends” T-shirt. Sure, it was topical and cool at the time, but you’d never be caught dead wearing something like that today.

And that sense of discomfort seems to have bled through to the cast as very few of the actors and actresses seem to really care. It could be attributed to the sloppy editing, but I personally have seen many of the actors in this movie commit thoroughly to better roles in the past. And in “Blood Wars,” all the talent seems to be sleepwalking through a cookie cutter, uninspired script.

That’s not to say that there’s nothing to enjoy, especially if you’re a fan. As I’ve pointed out, it does tie up some of the plot threads left hanging from “Underworld: Evolution,” and some of the fight scenes are entertaining. But for the casual moviegoer this is a pass. Unless you are a hardcore Underworld fan save your money and wait for it to come out on Netflix.

2 out of 4 miners.