Death Dealer Selene once again finds herself in the midst of the vampire/lycan war. This time, her blood and that of her daughters, is a priority for both. In this fifth installment to the successful franchise, Underworld: Blood Wars expands on the mythology of the series and tests Selene’s capabilities.
It’s been some time since the events in Underworld: Awakening. Selene (Kate Beckinsale) still finds herself amid the incessant war between species, with her only allies being David (Theo James) and his elder father Thomas (Charles Dance). The lycans have a new leader, Marius (Tobias Menzies), who is searching for Selene’s estranged daughter Eve. Her blood being the key to lycan evolution.
As their numbers increase, the remaining vampire covens find themselves vulnerable. Their only hope seems to be Selene’s knowledge and experience and she is reluctantly asked to train a new group of Death Dealers. Finding their new allies may have a different agenda, Selene and David take refuge at the Nordic Coven. It is there that she is exposed to their evolved powers that may be her only hope in defeating Marius and his army.
This new film answers a lot of questions that were left open in the previous films, while introducing plot lines for a follow up – should audiences want one. Perhaps the most exciting part was the introduction of a very different vampire coven. We’ve witnessed countless castle-loving gothic vamps, but in this one we’re introduced to the “hippie” version of our bloodthirsty friends. It opens up the mythology within the series and creates a bigger world.
One big complaint with this film would have to be the runtime, which clocks in at 91 minutes. It feels like the story of Marius could have been further explored had there been some more time. The revelations of his past are only briefly scanned over and it felt like a story that needed to be explored to a deeper extent.
Another issue I have is the continuation of the lycan/vampire war in a way that seems fairly tiresome at this point. While I still find myself enjoying these films, the overall plot doesn’t venture far. In the last film, we find ourselves introduced to humans experimenting with the different species DNA. In this film we revert back to the same war instead of moving onto something new and fresh, perhaps touching on Lucian’s hope to see the two groups finding some semblance of peace. And sadly, we’re again missing Scott Speedman’s character Michael, who really is necessary to breathe life back into the franchise.
For fans of the franchise, this film has a lot of what you’ve loved, and improves on things that may have faltered in the previous film. While it may not be perfect, it’s still a fun action-packed film that will surely entertain at the least. With the movie concluding fairly open-ended, it would be nice to see a sixth entry that could better explore a new idea and see Selene actually uniting both species.
Underworld: Blood Wars is in theaters now