I have always found the Underworld series to be the entertaining. Though the first film and Rise of the Lycans have more to recommend them, the franchise as a whole has been delightfully cheese-tastic with its vampire-punches-werewolf-in-the-jaw and elder-vampire-smoothies-served-fresh-from-helicopter-blades action coupled with an MTV-goth aesthetic. Thus, I dragged an unenthusiastic but oddly willing Adam to Underworld: Blood Wars. I thought that Underworld: Awakenings was the worst this franchise could dish out, but no. I went in know it would be terrible, and oh, boy was it!
Most glaringly,in any non-action scene the camera cannot settle on any shot for more than a split second and these scenes were so sped up, brief, and abruptly concluded that it creates the paradoxical impression that you’ve somehow missed the thread of the overly simplistic non-plot. By contrast, the lazy action scenes go on forever and void of character, character development, plot, and any sense of urgency, these action scenes become slogs unless you can laugh your way through such a travesty, as I did. From poorly choreographed fighting to cartoonish CG lycans - the action is a mess. I particularly enjoyed the slow-mo of Selene tossing shuriken, which are restyled as a Nordic weapon in this film, to cut ropes upon which lycans are climbing down a wall when they are about three feet above the ground. Somehow, this three foot fall takes them out. I laughed so hard that tears came to my eyes.
I cannot emphasize this enough: the actors are bored. With the possible exception of Tobias Menzies in the (I can’t believe it isn’t Michael Sheen’s Lucian) role of Marius, the actors could not or were directed not to take any interest in the film, and delivered their lines accordingly. From the long, unvaried voice over summarizing the plot of the earlier films to the drone of the ending voice over, the actors seems as tired of this charade of a film as the critics. The dialogue was so unimaginative that it would have made Vampire: The Masquerade LARPers groan. Just look at this page of supposedly memorable quotes, and then imagine the actors delivering them quickly in a monotone, because they knew how entirely unmemorable they would be.
As to plot, was there a plot? I am not going to include any spoiler warnings. The movie was a jumble and the plot was so simple but so rarely touched upon that there is nothing to spoil. There was no sense of time passing. Did the film take place over days or weeks? I know it must have been at least two days, because we see the sun rise twice. Other than that, anyone’s random guess would be as good as mine. The setup, which is also the entirety of the plot, is that the lycans have a new leader, Marius, who has taken out an entire coven of vampires (and possibly more than one?) in an attempt at genocide as well as in search of Selene’s missing lycan-vampire hybrid daughter’s powerful blood. The vampires, who are none too thrilled with Selene for killing off elders, need her to help fight the war and/or to steal her powerful blood. They throw in a coven of Nordic vampires who are neutral-ish peaceniks and have some spiritual powers so that Selene can ‘level up’ and get a new hair color treatment, but they have no real impact on the plot and do little more than describe how the spiritual powers work in the vaguest terms possible followed immediately by killing lycans. When Selene inevitably kills Marius (by ripping out his rubbery-looking, viscera covered spine - I laughed so much), the remaining werewolves abruptly stop fighting and casually leave the battleground. That is it.
If I had to ascribe purpose to this manic, premasticated film, it was to setup another movie about Selene’s missing daughter and to give Selene the laziest makeover by the most violent means possible. To steal from the movie’s gag worthy last lines “There is no beginning, there is no end. There is only the coming [and new hair treatments].”