Underworld: Blood Wars review - more like attack of the sexy Halloween costumes

Kate Beckinsale is back (again) as sexy werewolves take on sexy vampires (again)

Your time is up: Kate Beckinsale takes aim in Underworld: Blood Wars

Film Title: Underworld: Blood Wars

Director: Anna Foerster

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

Genre: Action

Running Time: 91 min

Thu, Jan 12, 2017, 14:26

   

“I have lived beyond my time,” sighs Kate Beckinsale’s Selene as she gears up for the fourth – no, wait: the fifth – instalment of the Underworld sequence. You can say that again, sister.

Regular visitors to pound shops will likely be aware of the cringe-making phenomenon whereby every cheap and cheerful Halloween costume – say firefighter, zombie, US president-elect – has a “sexy” female equivalent: sexy firefighter, sexy zombie, sexy (shudder) Drumpf. The gentleman shopper looks fetching in a hat and bin-bag; his lady looks stunning in a hat and a bin-bag slashed up to the knicker line.

Over the years, the Underworld franchise has steadily evolved into the Attack of the Sexy Halloween Costumes. And so, with no little predictability, Blood Wars sees the sexy vampire outfits do fisticuffs with the sexy werewolf outfits. It’s less a film and more a “cosplay” convention wherein famous actors – “that woman” off Sherlock, the dude from Divergence – are paid to say things in fruity theatre-ese.

In this spirit, here comes famous actor Charles Dance. “Kindly do an old vampire the favour of telling him why he has been invited here,” says the veteran thesp. The answer is for more werewolf-vs-vampire fisticuffs.

Thus, various people wearing leather trousers and strategically placed insulating tape do battle in various movie tax-shelters, including an icy northern sound-stage tundra populated by vampires who have all decided to dress up as Daenerys from Game of Thrones.

Debuting director Anna Foerster ensures the action, the pounding drums on the soundtrack and the cuts all come thick and fast, though to no real end. Underworld, alas, no longer has faith in its own flimsy mythology.

It’s not enough for the new film to rely on the stand-off between warring monsters and hastily introduced accessories; in Blood Wars both the Sword of Codswallop and the Ring of Tommyrot get dusted off. There are also hand-to-hand combat, gunplay, knife-play and axe-play. Whither supernatural abilities?