In a global economy roiled by uncertainty, there’s something to be said for going easy on anybody doing a dirty job just to get by.
But there’s a better argument for making Kate Beckinsale, her agent and her financial planner sit through the prologue of “Underworld: Blood Wars.” Five films spread over 13 of the talented and gorgeous star’s prime acting years, plus a video game, all summed up in a mad mashup of story threads that condensed and packed together, make zero sense.
What a waste.
She can still wear the wires that let her hurtle across rooms in fights or scamper up ice walls. She still looks spectacular in Spandex, still can kick ass in those kick-ass high-heeled boots.
But she’s better than this vampires vs. werewolves debacle, and always has been.
The idea has long been that Selene, her character, was on the run from both vampires and werewolves — each an ancient culture with traditions, history, enmities and…real estate. She’s given birth to a hybrid child whose blood could make either side all-powerful.
So when the vamps, manipulated by Semira (Lara Pulver), realize they need her help in fending off the lycan (wolf) assault, Selene is understandably leery.
Not to worry. Her old foe turned ally (Charles Dance) and his son (Theo James) are there to ensure her safety.
“Vampires do NOT.”
Back on the run it is, then, chased into the frozen north and elsewhere by both sides. The head lycan, Marius (Tobias Menzies) uses pack organizational skills to hunt her down. Can David (James) keep her alive long enough to find and perhaps save her daughter?
Feel free to yawn, because I certainly did. The action beats are barely passable — glitchy, pixelated jerks in the digitally-augmented jumps, punches, etc. The production design — dark on dark, all the better to hide the bored actors.
The costumes are the usual Red Tag Sale items from Bondagewear Ltd.
And Beckinsale, rarely called on to do anything as challenging as “Love & Friendship” or “Cold Comfort Farm” these days, just keeps her mop of jet-black-dyed hair flopped into her face, her nose to the grindstone and her eye on the bottom line. At least she’s well-paid to be in something this forgettable.
MPAA Rating: R for strong bloody violence, and some sexuality
Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Theo James, Lara Pulver, Tobias Menzies, Charles Dance
Running time: R for strong bloody violence, and some sexuality