“Franchise Retrospective: Underworld”

Underworld is a franchise that is a little divisive. Some people recognize the franchise for what it is. Vampires vs. werewolves. Others tend to really scrutinize the films for their inconsistencies in the plot, and script. Don’t get me wrong, those critiques are just, but are we holding Underworld to the right standards? This is a new feature I’m introducing called: Franchise Retrospective . I’m going to breakdown a franchise as a whole. How I feel about the films as a collective unit, and if more sequels were warranted.

Let’s start at the top with Kate Beckinsale. She’s a great lead as Death Dealer, Selene. One of the only female action stars that have been the vocal point of a franchise. In these Underworld films she kicks a lot of ass. In some cases there are some powerful female characters that are ancillary to a broader scope. Look at Scarlett Johansson in the MCU. As Black Widow she’s a good piece to a massive group of heroes. So too see how transcendent Beckinsale has been is refreshing. Only Milla Jovovich has headed up a franchise that has gone deep past a trilogy of films. It’s definitely a rarity.

The first Underworld film was solid. The world building was promising, and Beckinsale headed up that role really well. The action is top notch, with great battles between the death eaters (vampires) and lycans (werewolves). Most of the franchise is like that.

As a whole Underworld is a decent action franchise. Fun sequences, the story is a bit bland but it’s action, and it’s what vampires vs werewolves should be. It’s over the top action. Nothing else. Beckinsale delivers, the supporting cast is good. Scott Speedman is in the first two films, and Theo James was in the latest one Underworld Awakening. Theo is good in the Divergent films, taking on a staring action role. He fits right into this as well.

So was the new Underworld: Bloodwars a warranted sequel? It’s been about five years, so the studio waited a little long to put this out. All these films have doubled their production budget, so they are just about profitable. History isn’t on this ones side though. You can’t really wait that long in between sequels and hope for a big return. That’s part of the reason why it’s being released in January. The studio isn’t expecting a big return, but if they do have the same profit as the previous films, they’ll be making more.

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