"Underworld: Blood Wars" is the fifth installment in the "Underworld" film series and it has Kate Beckinsale returning as her character Selene, a vampire who's still caught up in a war between vampires and Lycans, AKA werewolves. This time while the war is still waging and Selene's mission is to find her daughter whose blood can apparently put an end to this fued once and for all.
With the previous four movies in this series, I haven't enjoyed any of them. I know that is has something of a cult following among people who are really into these mindless supernatural action flicks, but to me they're all the same. It's just a bunch of flashy effects thrown onto the screen for the sake of having action scenes and the fourth movie, "Underworld: Awakening" showed us the very worst of what this series had to offer. That movie at the time of its release was my pick for worst movie in the franchise so far and it still holds that title. So no, "Underworld: Blood Wars" is not as bad as its predecessor, but that's saying virtually nothing to its credit.
One of my problems with these movies as a whole is Kate Beckinsale in the lead. She's a decent actress in a lot of other roles, but I just don't buy in her in these particular films. Granted, the screenplays aren't exactly masterclass examples of writing, but with every line she just mutters everything in the most boring way possible. What's worse is that we have two types of those people in this movie with Theo James returning from his role in the previous film. The difference between Beckinsale and James, though, is that the latter has not proven himself to be a good actor. At best, he's in the ranks of people like Taylor Lautner and Liam Hemsworth, pretty boys who are only in movies because of their good looks. Theo James in this movie is every bit as bad as Beckinsale in the entire series, except you just want James to go away and get out of acting in general. Beckinsale at least deserves better than these movies.
This movie is actually directed by a first time feature film director named Anna Foerster and...yeah, her lack of experience definitely shows, specifically in the action department. The story itself is another problem entirely, but when you can't even competently direct action is a huge issue. A majority of the action in this movie is either too darkly lit and you can barely tell what's happening, or the editing is cut too quickly and...you can barely tell what's happening. The action as a whole is a mess, but I'm not above admitting that a couple of action scenes were mildly entertaining in the most mindless way possible. These were the few sequences where you could see what was happening, so that was a major factor into the slight enjoyment.
As far as the story goes, it's really the same old bullshit you've seen in all of the other films. Vampires and werewolves are still fighting, only this time I had a hard time being invested in any of it. This conflict has been going on for five movies now and I just don't care anymore. It would be somewhat more engaging if there was a good story to boot, but there's not. This movie has Selene on her journey and all of the tropes play out how you'd expect them to. There's obvious betrayals around every corner and there's cheap twists that completely undo the whole plot with the inconsistencies and holes. At this point in the series, the established lore doesn't even know what to do with itself, so it's basically just on auto-pilot as it makes stuff up along the way.
Overall, "Underworld: Blood Wars" is not the worst movie in the franchise, but it's certainly a January movie in the sense that it's still bad. Fans of these movies will probably find enjoyment in here, but average moviegoers will find it to be a dumb action movie at best, and non-fans like myself will just find it as bad as the other installments.
Rating: Some Ol' Bullshit