Underworld: Blood Wars 4K Blu-ray Disc Review

We just launched our audio review on the first one and now we are compelled to get the only other Underworld movie out there that has been released on the 4K format. Continue reading to find out our thoughts on the movie and the Disc quality. It is a must if you are thinking about grabbing this flick! Movie reviews and disc quality reviews are color coded for your convenience, BillChete in orange and Lady Phantom in blue respectively.

IMDb Storyline: The next installment in the blockbuster franchise, UNDERWORLD: BLOOD WARS follows Vampire death dealer, Selene (Kate Beckinsale) as she fends off brutal attacks from both the Lycan clan and the Vampire faction that betrayed her. With her only allies, David (Theo James) and his father Thomas (Charles Dance), she must stop the eternal war between Lycans and Vampires, even if it means she has to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Movie Review:
For the fifth installment (hopefully the last) in the Underworld franchise I feel it is so long in the tooth, no pun on purpose, lol. We get more shenanigans in the story but in the end we get the big battle against the vampires and werewolves, and I must say the lycan transformations are so worn out with the ridiculously fake nature. To the story, Selene is on the run and the king vampire clan find a way to get her back into the clique because of the impending war. She agrees…but…we get a side plot with a headstrong woman vampire that has other plans. We also learn about the bloodline in more detail of the elders. It wasn’t particularly interesting. The technicals were not that good either, tons of CGI blood and fast editing. I would be remiss if I didn’t give them credit for a few good sword kills but on the whole it was hogwash. Even if you need this movie to complete your Underworld collection on physical media, you will never pop this movie in again after an initial watch, it is a total avoid.

Selene is back, but this time she’s alone. Or so she thinks. Should she have come back? We’ll see! This movie wanted to be good and serious, but it fails. The first plus is to have somewhat of a Game of Thrones reunion. It gives us the great Charles Dance, but there isn’t nearly enough of him. Tobias Menzies plays Marius, who is just as annoying as almost any other character he has ever played. James Faulkner plays Cassius, an important character, but he gets a bit lost as well. The acting in general was good, but what really fails is the story. It’s convoluted, flirting with ridiculousness. I mean, there’s just so much suspension of disbelief you can expect from me. They keep trying to make this franchise successful, but it lost its touch a few installments ago, honestly. There is an insane amount of CGI (old video game like), and more gun fights between vampires and lycans. At least now there are more sword fights, but come on! Vampires and werewolves! I don’t want guns or swords. I want teeth and hand to hand combat! But anyway. The special effects are okay, serviceable. The eye effects are actually pretty decent. But there was so much CGI blood! Incredibly disappointing. The sound was very good, although at some points the volume went inexplicably lower. All in all, it was disappointing. 

4K Disc Quality:
Ho hum Sony, we get another average release with minimal use of HDR. The movie is clear…it is sharp…there is zero grain, but us 4K fans desire premium releases where time is spent converting these movies to give the higher contrast ratio and more punch for their money. I’m getting somewhat tired of these studios giving us lackluster releases and passing them off as “it’s the best the movie can look” when it is clearly not. Us 4K lovers are less than 5% of the market for physical media and if you continue down this road with these movies simply converted to more pixels, you will never gain marketshare, and it ticks me off. If a first-time viewer is to see this Disc, they will stick with Blu-ray or even DVD because the minuscule uptick a disc like this has is upsetting. On closing I will say at least it has a Dolby Atmos track and it was good. So there is one positive albeit most home watchers don’t have the complete audio setup to enjoy it.

Another mixed bag here. On the one hand, there is not a splotch of grain to be seen, and everything is neat and clean. The blacks are deep and rich. On the other hand, almost no use of HDR, no vivid colors, no life. There’s only one scene when HDR was really used, towards the end of the movie, and it looked pretty good. As for the sound, besides the time I mentioned, it really envelopes you. The Atmos was very well used. You hear everything clearly at all times. I expected more from this presentation, and was disappointed.

Breakdown of “Underworld: Blood Wars (2016)

Movie Rating  
BillChete:  2.5 (Avoid) Lady Phantom:  4 (Avoid)

4K Blu-ray Disc Grade  
BillChete:  C- (Unworthy) Lady Phantom:  C+ (Unworthy)

Average 4K Disc Grade

C