Underworld: Blood Wars

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Underworld: Blood Wars Movie Poster Image
Gory, so-so fifth movie in vampire-vs.-werewolf series.
  • R
  • 2017
  • 91 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 16+
Based on 4 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive messages

The movie mostly serves to glorify battle and war, with everything leading up to the "exciting" final battle. Some characters die, but there are few consequences overall for all of the mayhem.

Positive role models & representations

Selene is a strong female who's skilled in battle. But she has also sacrificed many things to get where she is, including family and love.

Violence

Tons of gory (digital) blood spatters, wounds, and gore. A werewolf's spine is ripped out. Severed head. Werewolf sliced in half. Heavy martial-arts fighting, sword fighting, hand-to-hand fighting. Guns and shooting. Digging in an open wound to retrieve a bullet. Hypodermic needles. Training for battle, shooting, fighting, etc. Stabbing. Arrow in eye. Young girl briefly partakes in battle. Women treated roughly during fights.

Sex

A shirtless man caresses a woman and kneels down in front of her genital area; she then moans in ecstasy. Women wear revealing outfits; cleavage. Brief flashback to non-graphic sex scene from previous movie.

Language

One slightly obscured use of "f--k," plus "s--t," etc.

Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

Vampires toast at a party, presumably with glasses of blood.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Underworld: Blood Wars is the fifth movie in the vampire vs. werewolf franchise starring Kate Beckinsale as a vampire warrior. Be ready for tons of gory violence. Much of it is computer-generated and fake looking, but there are still lots of blood spurts, bloody wounds, and other graphic moments (a severed head, a werewolf's spine ripped out, etc.). Other action violence includes martial arts fighting, sword fighting, and hand-to-hand combat, plus guns and shooting. Women (and, briefly, children) are involved. Some female characters wear revealing outfits, and cleavage is seen. A shirtless man caresses a woman and kneels down in front of her; she then moans in ecstasy. Language is infrequent but includes a somewhat obscured use of "f--k," plus "s--t." All in all, this is more of the same for this series, with the few fun parts largely bulldozed by the dumb parts.

User Reviews

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 15 years old Written byCtreska January 8, 2017
Adult Written byStevie111 January 7, 2017

Fun sequel with lots of gory violence

I think Underworld: Blood Wars blew away the last one. It's still somewhat silly, but it's fun and entertaining. The effects were decent and the story...

What's the story?

Following a brief recap of the previous four movies, UNDERWORLD: BLOOD WARS begins as Selene (Kate Beckinsale) fends off lycan (werewolf) attackers. The leader of the lycans, Marius (Tobias Menzies), wants to find Selene's daughter, a pureblood vampire-lycan hybrid, to gain access to her potent blood. But Selene has hidden her daughter away so securely that even she doesn't know the girl's location. Then David (Theo James), who owes his life to Selene, learns a long-hidden secret about his own birth. Meanwhile, treachery abounds within the vampire ranks, with various factions vying for power and everything leading up to a mighty showdown between the vampires and the lycans, perhaps once and for all.

Is it any good?

The fifth movie in this supernatural action/horror series isn't the worst, but it isn't very good, either; it has moments of mindless fun, but also too much seriousness and mood-killing awkwardness. Beckinsale brings a kind of grace and dignity to her role; in smaller parts, Charles Dance gives the movie a little class, and James is a likable hero. But too many others, mainly underlings, are terribly clumsy in their smaller roles, killing at least half the scenes in the movie.

A new director takes over the franchise for Underworld: Blood Wars, former cinematographer Anna Foerster. It might have been interesting if she had provided a fresh female viewpoint, but it seems as if all she can do is struggle to hold everything together. The composition and editing is sometimes off-puttingly clunky, and the story -- building from four movies' worth of silly stories -- trails off into certain directions that it never returns from. In short, every time the movie finds an enjoyably silly spot to be in, something comes along to ruin it.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Underworld: Blood Wars' violence. Does it seem more or less effective given the stylized appearance? How did it make you feel? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • Is the movie scary? How does it compare with other movies about vampires and werewolves? Why do you think it's so graphic? Is that part of the appeal of a film like this? What would the movie be like if it toned down the blood and gore?

  • How is sex depicted in the movie? Is it shown in a positive way, as a demonstration of love, or more as a demonstration of power? What's the difference?

  • How does the movie handle female body image? Does empower women, or does it set impossible standards?

  • Can Selene be viewed as a role model? Is she strong? What is her character like? What are her goals?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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