Monday, February 10, 2014
Movie review: Vampire Academy sucks in more ways than one
I can't recommend this movie for anyone except teenage girls looking to get away from their parents.
Rose Hathaway (Zoey Deutch) is a Dhampir, half-vampire/half-human, and she is a guardian in training at St. Vladimir’s Academy. St. Vladimir’s Academy is also home to the Moroi, who are full vampires who practice magic and live peacefully with the humans. Then there are the Strigoi, blood-sucking, evil vampires who drink to kill and are at war with the Moroi and Dhampir. Rose will eventually be responsible for protecting the Moroi. There is one Moroi in particular who Rose feels responsible for: Princess Vasilisa Dragomir (Lucy Fry).
She is Moroi royalty and the last of her line. Rose and Vasilisa have a special and almost unbreakable bond. Vasilisa is special not just because of her royal blood but also because of her special powers. It is up to Rose to protect Vasilisa, figure out who is after the princess and help Vasilisa handle her special powers.
The movie stars Danila Kozlovsky, Gabriel Byrne, Dominic Sherwood, Olga Kurylenko, Sarah Hyland, Cameron Monaghan, Sami Gayle, Ashley Charles, Claire Foy, Joely Richardson, Dominique Tipper, Edward Holcroft and Bronte Norman-Terrell.
Vampire Academy, directed by Mark Waters, is based on the teen fiction book series -- so it looks, feels and is a teen fiction movie. As a film it is poorly written, flat and lacks any real meat that a broader audience could sink its teeth into.
RATING4/10 stars – I think I would have enjoyed this better if I was a 15-year-old girl.
I am a 30-year-old woman who, admittedly, has not read the book series Vampire Academy and has no desire to do so – especially after seeing this film. The problem is that the whole vampire thing has been done before. What does this offer in a film that we haven’t seen already? I can’t quite distinguish this movie from the others with exception of the strong female leads and a lesser focus on the romantic nature of being a vampire. That alone is not enough to make this a movie worth seeing however as a casual moviegoer.
If the topic were the only downside to the movie, it wouldn’t be so bad, but the list of negatives stacks high. The use of tired pop culture references and poorly executed humor brings the film down. Then there are the flat performances by all involved. Seriously … there isn’t a single performance to praise here. I am not sure if it could have been cast better considering the topic and the content, but surely someone out there could have brought something more substantial to the film.
Perhaps Vampire Academy the film will please the Vampire Academy books series fans. However, this movie isn’t for a random moviegoer looking for an entertaining time. I can’t recommend it to anyone except perhaps a group of teenage girls looking for something to do away from the parents.
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