Last night Jake & I went to see UNDERWORLD 5: BLOOD WARS at the dreaded Boston Common. It was 3D and cost $18! Not money well-spent, as you might imagine.
Apparently, Jake and I have seen all 5 of these fine films together in the theatre (probably all at the Common, come to think of it), but they are so forgettable, and my brain is so addled, that every time we see a new one, I make him give me a re-cap of what went before.
I’ll be like, “That’s the series about werewolves vs vampires, right? With Kate Beckinsale in the black wet-look catsuit?” And then he’ll go over what happened at all the previous ones. UNDERWORLD 4 came out in 2012, so even he had forgotten it, and he had to consult the tedious Wikipedia entry. The plots are surprisingly too complicated – too many people to keep track of.
The first one or two in the series actually had long sequences that took place underground (you know, like the name of the movie implies), unlike this recent one. There are some themes and threads that carry on through multiple installments of the series, my favorite being the inevitable vampire party, with awkward goth vampires in their 3rd Reich-ey S&M outfits trying to lounge with goblets of blood in a manner that looks relaxed and natural but really doesn’t.
The vampire coven “lives” in a big chateau in Prague (of course) that is a Smart building. A minute before sunrise, metal shutters come down over the windows in case some vampire has lost track of the time. The Lycans (werewolves, dummy!) dress like extras from a Dickens adaptation, only with military panache, and fight like the dogs they practically are.
Some low points – what is the point of all the guns in the movie? There are several big gunfights that aren’t very effective. Jeesh. Also, whatever happened to staking vampires, for crying out loud? Also, there’s a super flash silver sword, special for dispatching werewolves, but does it get any use after its big introduction? Of course not. The werewolves don’t even look at it twice, much less cower before it. The digital FX are pretty primitive; it might as well be the Y2K. Why is it 3D? It felt like one of those darn 2.5 hour movies, but was only 90 minutes! Also, the vampires have babies? But writers, they are undead, that is totally disgusting! They’re supposed to reproduce by biting people, not giving birth! ICK!
This UNDERWORLD didn’t include any dark-skinned people; early episodes included some black characters on both sides of the struggle. It did, however, include some very white vampires from the frozen north, New Age vamps. We were pretty into them, but the movie was not very good, despite the very enjoyable (but all too brief) awkward vamp party and the white vamps.
We will see UNDERWORLD 6 in the theatre, no question, but I will need to re-read the story of the previous 5. As Jake said, “these Underworld movies go in one eye and out the other.”