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Underworld: Blood Wars (2016)

A review by Nalini Haynes

Death dealer Selene (Kate Beckinsale)  is back, older but trying to look the same, replacing Bill Nighy with Charles Dance as Thomas and introducing new (vampire) coven politics  to justify another blood bath, a new phase of the eternal war between the vampires and werewolves.

David (Theo James) seeks Selene because he wants her daughter; there’s a hint of romance here I think. It feels slightly off-kilter though because the movie feels like it wants Selene and David to be romantically entwined but it’s sticking with Selene’s heart being hollow after losing Michael and Eve, their daughter. My guess is the writers thought about entwining Selene and David (or another character in the same role) but they didn’t want to offend the shippers. (Remember the outraged fans with any suggestion of Carter moving on in Stargate?)

Anyhoo, David is special (quelle surprise) and lives out the tropes including going to a not-quite-mythical vampire coven to discover his potential, yadda yadda.

This Underworld movie is most surprising because they paid for Kate Beckinsale to return alongside other top-notch actors while the story and special effects were too cheap to rate the movie as much above a made-for-television movie. (And I don’t mean a Netflix production, I mean like the zillionth George of the Jungle movie.)

There are lots of B-grade special effects that often look like they’ve been lifted from a computer game. But still, splodeys and blood caused by vampires and werewolves using modern weapons.

Underworld Blood Wars is suffering from Star Trek syndrome: the studio is flogging a dead horse and they will continue until people stop watching the damn movies. I loved the first movie and enjoyed the second but the movies since then haven’t been worth the loss of life (lost hours) but married life requires compromises… (sigh).

Rating: 2 stars
Director: Anna Foerster
Writers: Kyle Ward, Cory Goodman, Kevin Grevioux, Len Wiseman and Danny McBride
Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Theo James, Charles Dance, Tobias Menzies, Lara Pulver
Running time: 1hr 31 minutes

Underworld Blood Wars

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Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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