Underworld: Blood Wars
My first experience of film from 2017 happens to be the latest installment in a series that I am extremely mixed on. I love the original Underworld. I loved the universe created and thought it was a well crafted action film with a good balance of both style and substance. Unfortunately, none of the sequels were close in quality to the original and a few of the films kind of just faded into the background. I wasn’t overly excited for Blood Wars but all I really wanted was a decent film that is at least better than some of the sequels.
The film starts off explaining some of the key events of the previous in the franchise (which I really needed as a refresher). It takes a while for the film to really get going. We see a few new characters, all with their own motivations. You really wonder who is doing what and it takes time to really frame the story. I felt uninterested through the first act. The film does get better once we see more of Tobias Menzies’ villainous character. I think with so many films in the franchise its easy to forget characters and all about the vampire/werewolf hybrids and what the Lycans are really after.
Kate Beckinsale is gorgeous as always in the film. Her Selene character always kicks ass and looks incredibly sexy in a black leather suit. I also dug remodeling her character with the blondish locks in her hair. The dark blue hue of the film is back once again but its cool because the film looks really stylish and the gothic feel of the Underworld universe is ever present. There’s more than enough action and bloody violence to keep the moviegoer entertained. Its important to remember that these films are gearing more towards popcorn entertainment than something that can be take seriously as a cinematic work.
I think the introduction of Tobias Menzies’ is such a strong point. The man plays one of the most despicable villains I have ever seen on television in Outlander. Just channeling a fraction of the hate in that character is enough for you to get invested in the hate for his character. Some of the other characters kind of fade away and feel incomplete but there’s enough fun going on to allow you to forgive some of the film’s shortcomings.
I think with Blood Wars we get the film series’ most satisfying sequel despite being flawed. The film is still as stylish as ever and a stronger third act keeps the fuel in the machine. I wouldn’t mind if the series ended soon but I think we may have to go through a film or two before the series is at its conclusion. Overall, its nothing special but still better than what I had expected.