Underworld: Blood Wars (2016)

DVD Cover (Sony Home Entertainment)
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Overall Rating 57%
Overall Rating
Ranked #1,622
...out of 14,051 movies
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Connections: Underworld

The next installment in the blockbuster franchise, Underworld: Blood Wars follows Vampire death dealer, Selene as she fends off brutal attacks from both the Lycan clan and the Vampire faction that betrayed her. With her only allies, David and his father Thomas, she must stop the eternal war between Lycans and Vampires, even if it means she has to make the ultimate sacrifice. --IMDb
Review by Crispy
Added: February 18, 2017
It's February once again and things are getting hairy! For newer fans of the M&V, this month is my official werewolf celebration and I try and add a few lycanthropic additions to the site while enjoying my favorites in the genre. Kicking things off, we're revisiting the war between vampires and lycans, as the long running Underworld franchise has taken another step forward.

Needless to say, after Selene killed off two of the Vampire Elders, fell in love with a vampire/werewolf hybrid, fed from the original Immortal and gave birth to a vicious child unlike anything the world has ever seen, the ripples completely changed the worlds of both vampire and lycan alike. Still, that ancient blood feud is still raging on, and the vampires are losing. After their numbers were replenished by Dr. Lane, a lycan named Marius has stepped up to unite them into a single force and they've conquered Coven after Coven. There are only two left (one of which being a small outpost up in the Arctic) and desperate times call for desperate measures. In order to rebuild their army, they forgive Selene her traitorous past so she can train their rookie army into something formidable. Speaking of which, Selene has been keeping out of the war altogether, but she should know that she'll never be free of something that's such a vital part of her life.

You know, I kind of gotten spoiled after the first three movies. The first movie set up the universe and got the main characters' story rolling and the sequel continued that story beautifully. Then, of course, the third one was the prequel that showed the beginning of the war itself. The three seemed like a solid, cohesive story. When Awakening was released, it felt less like its own entry and more like a transitional entry. Now, I was OK with this at the time. After all, the first two had some incredible connotations for the future of this world, so while a better filmmaker probably didn't need this crutch, the movie served to set up the future of the universe beautifully. Unfortunately, Blood Wars flat out throws most of Awakening's developments out of the window. Selene's daughter, Eve, is written out of the script completely, and while they put a decent reason for it in there, it's still disappointing. Also, humanity's war against the immortals is completely forgotten, which is simply unacceptable. It leaves a massive hole in the story to just drop that plot line after it shaped the world so dramatically.

Truth is, Blood Wars is an incredibly shallow entry. Not only did it ignore the foundation that Awakening built, but it didn't replace it with anything. The villains didn't fair any better. Revealing one of their identities treads a bit into spoiler territory, but suffice to say they're not very well fleshed out at all. Oh, both actors gave a menacing enough performance and they had some decent gimmicks, but that's all they were, gimmicks. Neither of them were used to their full potential and this style over substance approach was even worse than it was in the last entry. This is the tone that defines the entire movie. They're doing things because it looks cool, not because it makes sense or it fits into the greater franchise as a whole. Given how this ended, I don't see that changing in future installments.

I had high hopes that Awakening was just forced to reset the universe to get the story going again. I guess it's time to admit that Underworld is starting to go the sloppy, unorganized route of Resident Evil. I'm going to go with a 5/10, but that might be a little generous.
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