BLU-RAY REVIEW — “Underworld: Blood Wars”
Underworld: Blood Wars, the fifth entry into the Underworld franchise, comes 14 years after the initial installment, which saw vampire Selene (Kate Beckinsale) wage war against the Lycans (werewolves). As one of the Death Dealers — vampires created and trained specifically to combat the growing spread of the Lycans — Selene has found herself battling werewolves and vampires alike, with Underworld: Blood Wars pitting the kick-ass heroine against both species.
Life was drained out of this franchise long ago, and Blood Wars is no different: the one remaining attraction (Kate Beckinsale fighting werewolves and vampires in stylized action/violence) is hindered by poorly shot and poorly edited fight scenes that are only slightly less bad than the dialogue and performances. Underworld: Blood Wars is a modern day Van Helsing, the 2004 Hugh Jackman-starrer banished to bargain bins worldwide as early as 2005.
The filmmakers may have believed audiences would be satisfied enough by having Kate Beckinsale in sexy, form-fitting, black leather, tearing her way through gangs of rejected Blade extras, but there’s not enough here to warrant another entry in a franchise that, funnily enough, feels like a corpse returned to the world as the living undead. It’s Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance levels of bad, with its worst offense being that star Kate Beckinsale deserves to be in better movies.
The best part of Underworld: Blood Wars is Sony’s fantastic presentation of the film on Blu-ray disc, as expected, as Sony transfers are almost always beauties. With so much of the movie cast in dark and shadow, it’s important that black levels be flawless — and they are. Selene’s steel cold blue eyes pop, as does the vibrant, rouge blood. Longtime fans of the series may be pleased, if a little worn down, and Underworld: Blood Wars might leave franchise newbies a little cold, but if you’re a big time Underworld fan and a Blu-ray and audio aficionado, you’ll be extremely pleased with Sony’s attractive Blu-ray presentation. Underworld: Blood Wars is available on Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray starting April 25th.