By Mike Sullivan | For Weekender

Movie Review: ‘Blood Wars’ is a stretch, even for series fans

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This image shows Kate Beckinsale in a scene from ‘Underworld: Blood Wars.’
‘Underworld: Blood Wars’ is the fifth edition of the ‘Underworld’ series.

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    The ideal audience for “Underworld: Blood Wars” is sitting cross-legged in the middle of the Fantasy section in a Barnes and Noble, reading a graphic novel adaptation of a Laurell K. Hamilton novel in an “I See Dumb People” T-shirt.

    They are also very upset that you just stepped on their floor-length pleather duster as you tried to make your way around their stubborn, immovable asses. Unfortunately, that ideal audience — and their stubborn, immovable asses — graduated from junior high almost 10 years ago and donated their “Underworld” DVDs, Evanescence CDs and floor-length pleather dusters to Goodwill more than eight years ago.

    So at this point, who could possibly care about the “Underworld” series? Who wants to sit through a franchise that seems to think that the look of “Matrix Revolutions” is the height of cool and lacks a sense of humor even though characters shoot guns equipped with bullets made of sunshine?

    Like that MySpace profile that hung around a lot longer than it should have because circumstances beyond your control prevented you from deleting it, “Underworld: Blood Wars” is an embarrassing reminder of just how excruciatingly dorky the mid-aughts really were.

    Similar to a bad cable series that nobody watches but has somehow managed to stay on air for 10 plus seasons, “Blood War” opens with a recap of the previous films. What’s weird about this recap is it doesn’t seem to stop.

    There is no dialogue in “Blood Wars” just dry exposition and clumsy references to the previous films. “Blood Wars” is so dull it feels like the script was the Wikipedia entry for “Blood Wars” and the cast took turns reading it. At any rate, in this, the fifth entry, vampires and werewolves are still fighting each other for some reason or another.

    I don’t know.

    I think it has to do with Kate Beckinsale’s kid who is in hiding and is some kind of werewolf/vampire hybrid or something.

    Again, I don’t know.

    Everything in this film is either teal or British and after a while it becomes so monotonous that your short term memory is shattered and nothing is retained. I don’t know why Kate Beckinsale shows up at the end in blonde highlights while wearing a tattered fur coat a hooker would have worn in a Blaxploitation movie.

    I don’t know why there’s a castle filled with women who all look like Daenerys Targaryen, from “Game of Thrones.” I don’t know why wire fu is still used in action movies when it only manages to make everyone look like bloated, uncertain toddlers awkwardly galumphing around a trampoline park.

    I just know that “Blood Wars” is nearly unwatchable.

    The main problem behind “Blood Wars” and the “Underworld” series as a whole, is that it’s dreary and joyless. An endless war between werewolves and vampires should be much more fun. A premise this silly shouldn’t be so humorless. Again, characters carry guns that shoot sunshine bullets, where is the sense of sly self-awareness?

    Apart from the needlessly dour atmosphere, “Blood Wars” is hurt by its lack of characterization. As in “Rogue One,” “Blood Wars” doesn’t give us characters, it gives us plot point delivery services and info dumps. Ultimately, “Blood Wars” is a lifeless, generic experience that’s kitschy without being fun. Consider it a guilty pleasure but only if you consider pewter dragon sculptures and Warhammer novels to be guilty pleasures.

    This image shows Kate Beckinsale in a scene from ‘Underworld: Blood Wars.’
    http://theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/web1_underworld.jpgThis image shows Kate Beckinsale in a scene from ‘Underworld: Blood Wars.’

    ‘Underworld: Blood Wars’ is the fifth edition of the ‘Underworld’ series.
    http://theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/web1_underworld2.jpg‘Underworld: Blood Wars’ is the fifth edition of the ‘Underworld’ series.

    By Mike Sullivan | For Weekender

    ‘Underworld: Blood Wars’

    Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Theo Games, Peter Andersson

    Director: Anna Foerster

    Rated: R

    Weekender Rating: V

    Length: 92 minutes

    Mike Sullivan is a movie reviewer for Weekender. Movie reviews appear weekly in Weekender.

    Mike Sullivan is a movie reviewer for Weekender. Movie reviews appear weekly in Weekender.

    ‘Underworld: Blood Wars’

    Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Theo Games, Peter Andersson

    Director: Anna Foerster

    Rated: R

    Weekender Rating: V

    Length: 92 minutes