Underworld: Blood Wars (2016, directed by Anna Foerster)
[No. 46 of 52 in #52FilmsByWomen]
From the outside, the Underworld franchise looks like a memory cushion that carries the imprints of cinematic trends that have come and gone.
The first movie was released in 2003, the same year as The Matrix Reloaded, and its visual style seem heavily influenced by it. Selene (Kate Beckinsale) is introduced to us wearing dark leather and dual-wields pistols against enemies in a subway station with periodically arrayed square pillars. This was highly reminiscent of a scene in the original Matrix. Then the second sequel, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans came out in 2009, at the height of the Twilight vampire craze. It was the same year Twilight: New Moon was released. Then Underworld: Awakening was shot in 3D, during time when 3D releases were very popular.
What trends will this series pick up for its 2016 sequel? It’s probably very easy to guess. Every damn movie today has to be part of a Marvel-like cinematic universe. Interestingly enough, Underworld: Blood Wars doesn’t have a end-credit teaser, which is a strong indicator that a movie is trying to set up a new “cinematic universe”.
As for the movie itself, I think the story suffered a similar problem with Warcraft, which that it had lots of promising storylines with good actors but there are way too many of them. The result is everything feels rushed.