If you’re going to see “Underworld: Blood Wars,” then you already know what to expect. The fifth film in the gothic action / horror series isn’t something that a random moviegoer will wander into; if you plan on seeing this one, then you’ve probably seen the rest: and this latest installment delivers.
Vampire death dealer Selene (Kate Beckinsdale) is back with David (Theo James), and the two are hell-bent on kicking some Lycan (aka werewolf) butt. As the title states, this movie is all about another war over a quest blood, but the plot really doesn’t matter. The film is packed with the stylized violence and lavish costumes that Underworld devotees have come to love and expect, and there are plenty of inside references for longtime fans of the franchise.
The film’s relatively short 92 minute run time keeps things moving along so nothing ever feels draggy. The silly dialogue is appropriate for a B-movie style fantasy film, but the acting is better than expected. There are plenty of visually slick action sequences and a few satisfying uses of CGI (but don’t spend your money on 3D; the film is so dark that it’s a complete waste here, as is the norm with most movies).
The action happens at speeds where you can actually tell what’s going on too, and I really appreciate that. There’s no super fast cutting for those with short attention spans. Then again, I’ve been a fan of these films since 2003. Perhaps the filmmakers and studio realize their audience is aging with these characters and have purposely slowed things down a bit.
There isn’t much substance here but “Underworld: Blood Wars” provides enough fun escapism for a couple of hours. And yes, the ending includes a set-up for yet another sequel. I guess these vampires really are immortal.