Franchise fodder
Meets the formulaBeckinsale in tight leather
Werewolf CGI awfulCliffhanger ending feels cheap
3.0Wait for the next one and watch them together
Reader Rating 2 Votes

The 5th film in the Underworld franchise sees the Vampires and Lycans more at odds than ever. Selene is outlawed, everyone wants to find her pure-crossbreed daughter Eve in order to use her blood to establish control, and they think they can do this via Selene (who actually doesn’t know where Eve is). The vampires have political machinations going on between rival factions, and the Lycans, led by Marius and having grown strong, are preparing to mount an invasion. Complicated, huh?

Like the previous 4 movies, the distinguishing characteristics of this movie are a) a muted blue/grey colour palette, b) lots of slo-mo cartoon CGI blood spraying all over the place, c) masses of slo-mo violence, b) the odd respected thespian adding a spurious note of gravitas, d) a plot full of complexities which hide a threadbare storyline which can be summed up as “vampires vs werewolves” (see also episodes 1 to 4), and e) Kate Beckinsale in spray-on leather.

It must be admitted that, as ever, Kate Beckinsale’s bum lovingly caressed by shiny skin-tight leather is almost worth the price of a cinema ticket on its own.

There is, thankfully a recap at the start so that those who have forgotten the previous movies are brought back up to speed. This manages to include most of the money shots from the earlier films viz half of Bill Nighy’s head sliding off etc.

Otherwise, it suffices only to note that virgin director Anna Foerster, taking the place of Beckinsale’s now ex-husband Len Wiseman, satisfactorily delivers the mixture as expected – political shenanigans, blood, bad CGI, and grim atmosphere.

Lara Pulver wears several costumes which reveal rather more Lara Pulver than costume. This is a Good Thing.

Oh, and there is a bloody great unanswered question. I’m not going to say what it is, that would be a spoiler, but you’ll be saying exactly what one of the lead characters says – “But I saw….” The ending makes it clear that the answer will be found in the next film. Which leads me to say, “I’ve been fiddled!”