Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * *
Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Theo James, Tobias Menzies, Lara Pulver, Charles Dance, James Faulkner, Peter Anderrson, Clementine Nicholson, Bradley James, Daisy Head, Oliver Stark, Sveta Driga.
It was probably too much to ask that Kate Beckinsale completely transform herself from an action star to a fully fledged actor of incredible repute, too much to hope that certain parts could be left behind as a reminder of what it takes to get into films and relish the accolades thrust upon her shelves at home in the rush of excitement that was in evidence in the brilliant Love and Friendship. Yes it may pay the bills, it probably does keep the actor in the eyes of the cinema goer and there is arguably still a certain amount of mileage left in the tank in the Underworld franchise but still, it should be noted that Kate Beckinsale is a talent not to be allowed to stagnate.
Underworld: Blood Wars is the latest cash in on a series of films that still look visually stunning but somehow has started to lose its teeth in the process of 13 years filming. Everything must come to an end, even Vampire films and endless television productions must eventually see the light of day and lock themselves away for another generation not saturated on blood- letting and fighting creatures of the dark.
Whilst visually the film cannot be faulted, its script is another matter, the cues of what is about to happen are telegraphed so far in advance that it makes instant messaging seem as of a carrier pigeon has just finally made it back from the western front with news of three square feet has been captured.
It always seems fascinating that such franchises run past a natural life span without re-inventing itself, unlike say for example the X-Men series which had the good grace to go sideways and look at one of its biggest heroes on his own or even go back to the origins of the tale and see how the characters from earlier films developed in the way that they did; in Underworld they just seem to want to string out a story that might have been more entertaining strung out to a series on television, it certainly has that feel of now being more of a serial played out for hours with no resolution in sight.
An average film that will keep the fans happy but if you haven’t been bitten by it till now then to be honest it is worth finding an alternative form of cinematic entertainment.
Ian D. Hall