Underworld: Blood Wars

November 30, 2016

People have written more compelling stories on toilet paper, and they didn't need a pen.

Here’s Underworld: Blood Wars in brief: in the millennia-old conflict between werewolves and vampires, the werewolves (or Lycans) are regrouping while the vampires are down to their last two covens. Good news, though, is that the Paris coven is impregnable. Never been breached in 15 centuries. Not once. Give up now, Lycans - it cannot - be - pregged.

 

Well…unless you have a small, mid-priced sedan driven by animatronic Gucci model Theo James’ character, which ploughs through the coven's single-frame, wrought-iron gate like a knife through butter that isn’t even butter because it’s actually nothing. Not to be deterred, however, the vampires quickly re-attach the gate with a soldering iron, rendering the coven once again...impregnable. 

 

To quote The Princess Bride, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means”.  

 

So here’s what we need to do. First, we go buy some red baseball caps - bright red ones - then embroider them with the following message: MAKE UNDERWORLD OKAY-ISH AGAIN. 

 

The people will follow us. Landslide, guaranteed. 

 

The original Underworld, released in 2003, was a film not without merit. Not much merit, mind you, but merit it still had. In the lead, Kate Beckinsale proved a fantastic choice for the ‘death-dealing’ werewolf hunter Selene, whose talents and temerity outstripped every compatriot and opponent alike. Alongside her, Bill Nighy, Scott Speedman and Michael Sheen rounded out a not-unimpressive supporting cast - capable of making even the most laughably bad line somehow resonate with a sense of class and purpose. Yes, it was fetishist-heavy and contained a whole lot of gunplay porn, but it was a film of its time (remember that whole ‘gothic-horror’ thing?) and found a willing fan base to propel it into franchise mode.  

 

Underworld: Blood Wars, however, is now the fifth film in a franchise that definitely ought to have stopped at two, and my - how the largely-passable have fallen. Honestly, people have written more compelling stories on toilet paper, and they didn't need a pen. This latest instalment takes every one of the already scant, okay-to-decent aspects of the original film and dispenses with them wholesale aside from Beckinsale herself. What little story there is comes across in heavy-handed dialogue which is used simply to bridge one dull fight scene to the next, and every character continues to wear comically revealing black lace or leather like extras from a Judas Priest video. Except for the ones in all white, because they’re pacifist vampires. 

 

Or ‘Pavampires’, perhaps, which I believe means ‘cannot be invaded or breached’. 

 

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