Cinematic Releases: Underworld: Blood Wars (2016) - Reviewed

blood wars
Our favorite Death Dealer is back. And damn, she's pissed this time. 

After a meandering fourth entry, Kate Beckinsale's Selene is back with a vengeance, ready to kick the living daylights (pun fully intended) out of more dreaded Lycans. Unlike the last film, Underworld: Awakening, this one tries to bring back more of the guilty pleasures of the first couple in this wayward series. Luckily for the paying audience, this is a definite shift in the right direction that's really only underwhelming due to the repeated story tropes and a measly runtime of 91 minutes. As the story seems extremely familiar and repetitious, Blood Wars often feels like an extended tv episode with a decent budget and awesome fight sequences. Guns blaze. Blood is shed. Beckinsale still owns this role. Her Selene is sexy, cunning, and an ass kicking action icon that deserved this movie.

It's actually amazing that they're still able to continue this franchise. Just as it seems they've drained every last bit of blood (yup) out of this thing, they figure out a new way to extend the story in new and mildly creative ways. From the ending of Blood Wars, it's easy to see where they're going with the sixth movie. And it's just intelligent enough to keep me coming back for more. I suppose the most amazing thing about the Underworld franchise is Beckinsale's apparent talent for not aging. She's like a fine wine. With each year and every new 'vampires with guns vs. shapeshifting werewolf flick', her Selene ages perfectly. In Blood Wars, she continues to hand out ass whippings at a frenetic pace while still looking phenomenal in skin tight clothing. And her physicality during fight sequences seems to be getting better and better.

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Check out my awesome new hair. Now, let's fight. 

Blood Wars isn't going to win a single award for anything. But, it's a way better movie than the excrement laden heap of the last sequel. This time, we get a decent story that's loaded with more contrived elements about bloodlines, the mutations of Lycan mixed with vampire, plot holes galore, and silly moments that will make you nod your head. However, this isn't meant to be a thinking person's franchise. This fifth (and definitely not final) entry will satiate your need for escapist fun that has some of the worst human to werewolf CGI transitions ever mangled on the silver screen. Yet, somehow, I walked out of this thing knowing that it's all tongue in cheek monster madness for a crowd that craves big dumb fun.

If you're looking for a way to waste a few bucks on Kate Beckinsale pairing with Theo James to beat the living crap out of hairy beasts, this is the movie you want to see this weekend. After Awakening, I wasn't sure how this would be. It's definitely a step in the right direction for the series. With the concluding moments, I'm actually excited to see where they go with this next. Using half the budget of Awakening, they delivered double the quality of movie. Good for them. I'm actually looking forward to the sixth film in this series now. That says a lot.