Franchise Weekend – Underworld: Blood Wars (2017)

underworldDirector: Anna Foerster

Writer: Cory Goodman (Screenplay) Kyle Ward, Cory Goldman, Kevin Grevioux, Len Wiseman, Danny McBride (Story/Characters)

Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Theo James, Tobias Menzies, Lara Pulver, Charles Dance, James Faulkner

 

Plot: Vampire death dealer, Selene (Kate Beckinsale) fights to end the eternal war between the Lycan clan and the Vampire faction that betrayed her.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Final Nail in the Coffin

 

Story: Underworld: Blood Wars starts with backstory of Selene’s (Beckinsale) story and now that she is alone in the battle with nothing left to live for, she is hunted by the Lycans stills but does still have an ally in David (James).

With a new leader, Marius (Menzies) the Lycans want to put an end to the war with Semira (Pulver) the leader of the vampire covenant bringing in David’s father Thomas (Dance) one of the elders to bring Selene back into the fold to train the new vampire recruits ready for the war.

After what seems like a pointless training exercise, it turns out to be pointless training exercise as Semira has bought Selene into take her blood but when David finds a way to save Selene she must once again go into battle against both vampire and Lycans.

 

Thoughts on Underworld: Blood Wars

 

StoryOne of the biggest problems with the last film was that the story was difficult to make work, now we try to bring this out of sequence storytelling to the next chapter. This does feel like some part remake of the original and in the end the story does try to bring a bigger picture of a world we have finally had enough of now.

Action/HorrorMindless action and no horror, well that is the genre in a nutshell really.

Characters/PerformanceSelene is back yet again but you just don’t feel she is the kick ass heroine we have seen in the past, David continues to be just another leading man with nothing much going on, Marius does make for a slightly more interesting villain but again nothing special with Semira just being another power-hungry vampire character.

Performance wise it is nice to know Beckinsale has enough money now to go and make films she will be able to perform in, James has never proved himself as a leading man yet, Both Menzies and Pulver have studied up for the roles and just borrowed everything from the previous film without bringing an ounce of originality to their performances.actors

SettingsWe have the isolated style settings, I am not going to lie, I am confused with the timeline now, I thought the last film was in the future and nothing looked futuristic for the genre and returning to the coven war while good feels like nothing has evolved like the franchise should have.

Special EffectsWe have the special effects we have all come to know for this film, it isn’t on the strongest level with wildly over the top action, annoying amount of flashbacks through drinking blood memories.genre

Final ThoughtsHow has this series turned into an Uzi battle between vampires and Lycans, that is the biggest questions out there.

 

Overall: Painfully awful sequel that we didn’t need.

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Franchise Weekend – Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009)

underDirector: Patrick Tatopoulos

Writer: Danny McBride, Dirk Blackman, Howard McCain (Screenplay) Len Wiseman, Robert Orr, Danny McBride (Story)

Starring: Michael Sheen, Bill Nighy, Rhona Mitra, Steven Mackintosh, Kevin Grevioux, David Aston

 

Plot: An origins story centered on the centuries-old feud between the race of aristocratic vampires and their onetime slaves, the Lycans.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Poor Cash Grab

 

Story: Underworld: Rise of the Lycans starts by going full prequel on us where we see Viktor (Nighy) has bred Lucian (Sheen) to be the first lycan and to guard the vampires during the daylight hours. With an ever increasing threat the vampires need to find a new way to protect themselves with the idea being Lucian the loyal lycan lead the defence from outside the walls, but his secret relationship with Sonja (Mitra) the daughter of Viktor which drives Lucian to be free.

When Lucian defines his orders, it becomes clear that he has a power over all the wild lycans as well as having the respect from the other slave lycans. With Lucian leading the lycans the war between the vampires and lycans is set to begin.

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans brings the story back to the origin behind the original film with Viktor against Lucian, the problem is we learn most of the reasons within the first film and this ends up feeling like an over long flashback sequence that we didn’t need to really see. The film also feels a lot slower than the previous outing with a lot more sneaking rather than fighting.

Sheen and Nighy are brilliant actors but in this one they both look like they enjoyed the pay check to be involved while Mitra just isn’t on the same level as Beckinsale who is sadly missing this time around. I personally feel this film missed a huge chance to make itself unique to the other but in the end just feels like a rinse repeat of the first twos plot, a high-ranking vampire ruins the order of things taking away the peace that was once created. You also don’t see the threat in Lucian or Viktor because we know they are in a later instalment of the timeline.

 

Overall: This really is a disappointing addition to the franchise which takes away all the fun the first two had leaving us with a story we know the outcome of.

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Franchise Weekend – Underworld (2003)

underworldDirector: Len Wiseman

Writer: Kevin Grevioux, Len Wiseman, Danny McBride (Screenplay) Danny McBride (Story)

Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Michael Sheen, Shane Brolly, Bill Nighy, Erwin Leder, Sophia Myles, Wentworth Miller

 

Plot: Selene, a beautiful warrior, is entrenched in a war between the vampire and werewolf races. Although she is aligned with the vampires, she falls in love with Michael, a human who is sought by werewolves for unknown reasons.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun, Over the Top Action Fantasy

 

Story: Underworld starts by taking us into a world where vampires and lycans where the vampires have the upper hand with the lycans on the edge of extinction. We meet Selene (Beckinsale) one of the most elite vampire warriors against the lycans who finds herself learning of an uprising of lycans waiting to come back into the battle.

As Selene investigates the encounter she learns that the lycans were targeting a human Michael (Speedman) but the reason is unknown to her, but this doe draw out Lucian (Sheen) the leader of the lycans and the old battle is starts once again. When Selene’s decision to save Michael only begins the war once more as the vampires await the rebirth of Viktor (Nighy) the lycans plan to take over the world.

Underworld is the fast-paced action fantasy film that brings us the war between vampires and werewolves in a style unlike anything we have seen before. We do have to go through a lot of the politics of the vampire world which at times get rather boring but when the action is unleashed it is all bullets and blood.

Beckinsale shines in this leading role showing she can kick ass like the best of them, it is the rest of the cast which don’t get the full effect out of their performance with Speedman looking lost most of the time, Sheen coming off too smart to be in the role he is given and Nighy being your typical elder character. In all honesty, this is purely fun and just switching your brain off you will enjoy it all.

 

Overall: Popcorn vampire flick that is easily enjoyable.

Ratingcard

 

 

I, Frankenstein (2014)

logoDirector: Stuart Beattie

Writer: Stuart Beattie (Screenplay) Kevin Grevioux (Graphic Novel)

Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Yvonne Strahovski, Miranda Otto, Bill Nighy, Jai Courtney, Socratis Otto, Aden Young, Catlin Stasey

 

Plot: Doctor Victor Frankenstein dies frozen to death and the creature buries him at the cemetery of his family. However he is attacked by demons but he kills on of them and Gargoyles save him and take him to a Cathedral where the Gargoyles Order gathers. The Queen of the Gargoyles Leonore (Otto) keeps Doctor Frankenstein’s journal together with the treasures of the Order and gives the name Adam (Eckhart) to the creature. Then she explains to Adam that there is an ancient war between the Gargoyles that are angels and demons under the command of the Prince Naberius (Nighy). She also invites Adam to join the Gargoyles in the war against demons, but Adam prefers to isolate in a remote place. Two hundred years later, Adam returns and finds a modern society. Soon he learns that Naberius has the intention of creating an army of soulless corpses to be possessed by demons. The scientist Terra (Strahovski) is researching a process to create life and Naberius is seeking Doctor Frankenstein’s journal to help Terra and raise his army.

 

Verdict: Action CGI style

 

Story: The old good versus bad battle that the human don’t see that escalates into a destructive battle when one believes they can get the overall control. Add in Frankenstein’s monster to the see which side of the battle will he fall on. Let’s face it this is not the most original idea and in the end feels like just another member of the almost something special, but unfortunately is just plain. It is watchable, but nothing special. (6/10)

 

Actor Reviews

 

Aaron Eckhart: Adam the creature wanting to live on his own but the constant attack from demons means he wants to end the war between the two. Adam is a skilled fighter who battles to stay on the good side of the battle, which he struggles to see when the Gargoyles have to hide things from him. Good performance from Aaron showing he can lead a film. (8/10)

 adam

Yvonne Strahovski: Terra a human scientist who is working on re-animating dead things for a rich man. She is in it all for the science but once she learns the truth she is reluctant to help. Bit of a disappointment in the support female role, she really doesn’t pull of scientist role very well. (3/10)

terra

Miranda Otto: Leonore the Queen of the gargoyles who keeps Adam alive hoping he would return to save them in the war, but soon turns on him when he opens the war out for the humans to see. Simple supporting performance, not offering anything to a role. (5/10)

 miranda

Bill Nighy: Naberius the prince demon who wants to use Frankenstein’s diary and monster to create a new army. Good villain performance from Nighy who gives the basic evil without exceling the position. (7/10)

 bill

Jai Courtney: Gideon the most loyal warrior of the gargoyles, who never trusts Adam but has to trust what his Queen thinks. Basic support role that offers conflict within the good guys.(6/10)

 jai

Socratis Otto: Zuriel one of Naberius’ generals who has been hunting down Adam for over 200 hundred years, he is a skill fighter and will sacrifice his soldiers to stop Adam. Good supporting performance, but never gets the full time to show the whole character. (6/10)

 zuriel

Director Review: Stuart Beattie – Basic directing really, never offering anything new to the genre but following some of the basics well enough. (6/10)

 

Action: Plenty of fights used throughout, but a lot of them in CGI. (9/10)

Fantasy: The fantasy war going on behind the humans back is good and shows how intense it has become. (9/10)

Settings: Good use of settings trying to use gothic ones to try and keep the story in the dark underworld. (8/10)
Special Effects
: Standard effects as some of the CGI come off very simple during the transformation but once they are established they are fine. (7/10)

Suggestion: I think this is only one to try, it doesn’t offer anything new to the genre but has some good fight scenes. (Try It)

 

Best Part: The battles are good.

Worst Part: Weak supporting performances.

Action Scene Of The Film: The demon attack on the cathedral.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: It could have one, but Box Office results may stop it.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $71,154,592

Budget: $65 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

Tagline: In the battle between good and evil, an immortal holds the key.

 

Overall: Dark Action Film Without Enough Bite

Rating 60