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Underworld: Blood Wars follows Vampire death dealer, Selene, as she fends off brutal attacks from both the Lycan clan and the Vampire faction that betrayed her. With her only allies, David and his father Thomas, she must stop the eternal war between Lycans and Vampires, even if it means she has to make the ultimate sacrifice.

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Underworld: Blood Wars movie full length review - Back to simplicity

This fifth movie in the series sensibly starts with a brief recap of the previous four: 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012 (2009 is actually a prequel). Those who have not seen any of the above need not be dismayed.

They can enjoy "blood war" in its simplicity. Roughly the movie can be divided in three segments.

The war is between the rising Lycans under the leadership of Marius (Tobias Menzies) and the waning vampires in their stronghold ruled by elder Cassius (James Faulkner), assisted by scheming Semira (Lara Pulver). Self-exile elder Thomas (Charles Dance) comes back to lend a hand. He is soon followed by his son David (James Theo) and the best vampire fighter Selene (Kate Beckinsale) who had once saved David's life. It turns out that the invitation is a conspiracy of Semira's to get Selene's blood to increase her own power. This first segment ends with Thomas's death and Selene and David's escape.

The middle segment, which in my view is the best, takes place in Nordic Coven which is exquisitely shot in its unsurpassed icy beauty. In this mysterious hideout that many do not even believe to exist, Selene and David seek refugee with a clan of vampire headed by an elder whose name we have not been given (Peter Anderson) and his daughter Lena (Clementine Nicholson) who, in addition to her usual vampire powers, also possesses the ability of short-range teleportation. This segment ends in a set piece of Lycans discovering this hideout and mounting a devastating attack which culminates in Selene begin killed and David going back to the vampire stronghold to claim leadership based on something revealed to him at Nordic Coven.

The final segment is all but predictable. It starts with betrayals. Semira betrays Cassius, taking over leadership, only to be betrayed in turn by her assistant-cum-consort Varga (Bradley James) who sides with David upon hearing his legitimate claim. The grand finale obviously will not do without Selene coming back to life, leading the final noisy, gory confrontation.

Followers of this series like myself know what to expect of Kate Beckinsale and will be rewarded with what they expect. James Theo, better known for his recent "Divergent" series, joined Underworld only in the fourth movie. There are no less than three familiar faces from "The Game of Thrones". Most prominent, needless to say, is Charles Dance, whose commanding presence is an asset to any screen. Tobias Menzies, who is a bit of a loser in his G of T character, barely rises to the occasion here playing the chief villain. James Faulkner is stereotype personified. Lara Pulver who appears essentially in TV series is no Lena Headey (whose portrayal of Cersei Lannister in G of T has become legendary) but adequate for this movie.