In the fifth installment of the Underworld franchise, vampire death dealer Selene is back once again, fighting to end the war between the Lycans and the Vampire clan who betrayed her. Because Selene is now a hybrid of both breeds, that means her blood is special, and she is powerful enough to defeat nearly anyone who challenges her. However, the blood that gives her the advantage in the fight to defeat her enemies is same blood that puts a target on both her back and her daughter’s as well, making them easy prey for supes looking to steal their powers. Now, with the vampire clan hunting her down to punish her for killing two of their elders, the Lycan clan hoping to snuff her out before she renders them extinct, and the whole mess of monsters just wanting to use her for her blood, Selene literally is backed into a corner – but she’ll shoot her way out.
Think what you will of the Underworld franchise, but it’s worth noting that each movie in this hugely successful series has been able to push the plot forward in some way, shape or form, with every single one of its installments – that is, up until now.
The first film Underworld film introduces the eternal war between the Lycans and the Vampires, exposes the existence of a hybrid man named Michael, and ends by revealing that Selene’s guardian Viktor actually murdered her real parents, right before Selene takes his life in exchange for the death of her family. In the second film Underworld: Evolution, Selene becomes the new hybrid, and confirms her position as the leader of the series. The other elder Marcus wakes up and tries to kill Selene and Michael, but she kills him first. The third entry Underworld: Rise of the Lycans illustrates the background of both clans, and shows how Lucian came to be the leader of the Lycans, and ends by revealing that the reason why Viktor spared mercy on Selene when he killed her family was because she reminded him too much of his own daughter Sonja. The fourth film Underworld: Awakening takes an interesting turn when the humans find out about the existence of the supernatural beings and wages war on everyone who isn’t technically a human. They claim that they’re trying to protect humans from these creatures, but the truth is, they’re kidnapping the ones they hunt down and capturing them in an attempt to harness their power. Selene discovers the existence of two new hybrids, David and Eve, who happens to be her and Michael’s daughter. Selene sends Eve off to an undisclosed location that even she doesn’t know so that she will be safe from those who seek to claim her. Selene decides it won’t be safe for them to reunite until she truly puts an end to this ongoing war.
Each movie, whether its arguably good or bad, can at least claim that it adds on to the already existing plot in some way that is both significant and entertaining for the series as a whole. The Underworld franchise has always been pretty on point when it comes to delivering the shoot-em-up goods that people are looking for in a Hollywood blockbuster, so it’s a shame that the latest entry doesn’t quite live up to its predecessors.
Sadly, when it comes to Underworld: Blood Wars, there’s not much happening in the movie that hasn’t been done before. The war wages on, David and Selene are still in charge, Michael’s disappearance is skimmed over briefly, and it seems that Selene’s daughter is still nowhere in sight. A few twists happen here and there, but they still only mimic things that have already happened to other characters in this franchise before. Honestly, it just feels like the writers weren’t sure where to go, and perhaps have even run out of ideas.
However, despite its flaws, it’s still pretty enjoyable for those who are just looking to pass the time on a rainy Tuesday afternoon, or are in the mood to see a good cheesy action flick and eat popcorn and snack on sour gummies. Selene shoots bad guys, looks slick and fierce while she does it, and even gets a hot new hairstyle in the meantime. On a basic level, this film still manages to feel fun, it just doesn’t quite pack the same punch that the earlier entries always seemed to unleash.