Vampire Academy (2014) Movie Review “This Sucked”

vampireacademyp2

“Twilight” had reached its end in 2011, and now “True Blood” on HBO is entering its final season, and the once popular “Underworld” series dead in the water, the vampire genre in pop culture is getting a little less crowded. However the young adult genre is as big as ever. “Harry Potter” is the highest grossing franchise of all time, “Twilight” became widely popular, and the “Hunger Games” is going very strong right now. Studios are racing to become the next big young adult property with two coming on a month apart from one another. “Divergent” is set to be released later in march and in Febuary we have a different one coming to us from the director of “Mean Girls” that is not only a young adult film but also trying to fill the void of other vampire franchises, “Vampire Academy.” Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your views of the genre) this film is not going to be filled that void. Not only is this movie have a poor and uninteresting poorly paced script, but also includes badly edited action, this showed some potential in certain spots but fails to deliver on any of it.

Rose Hathaway is a dhampir, half-vampire and half-human, who is training to be a guardian at St Vladimir’s Academy along with many others like her. Along with her best friend, Princess Vasilisa Dragomir, a Moroi and the last of her line, with whom she has a nigh unbreakable bond, Rose must run away from St Vladimir’s, in order to protect Lissa from those who wish to harm the princess and use her for their own means.

n2

The movie opens up quickly to a car crash that links Rose and her friend Vasilisa together mentally that is never fully explain or talked about. The film rushes through it’s opening trying to establish everything quickly and smoothly with a voice over from Rose telling the audiences a few key facts and details about the world that we as the audience are getting introduced too for the first time. However it’s not that interesting or that detailed. The least the film could do is get me interested in the lore. There seems to be some history that the filmmakers were trying to set up instead most of it is glossed over.

The next problem we have, which is also could be a potential problem with the source material, is the stakes are not high at all. The two main characters go back to their school St. Vladimir’s and the their main threat? Gossip and bullying. That’s the main threat. It going to be a cliché to compare this to “Harry Potter” but I’m going to for a second. In “Harry Potter” these teens go Hogwarts but they face threats from dark wizards, followers of Lord Voldermort and numinous other threats throughout the series that could threaten the students and kill them. We feel like there is a threat and therefor the stakes are high. In this film the girls face nothing but drama, gossip, and teen bullying. A few regular everyday high schools are worse than this school.

IMG_2359.CR2

The next problem we have, which is also could be a potential problem with the source material, is the stakes are not high at all. The two main characters go back to their school St. Vladimir’s and the their main threat? Gossip and bullying. That’s the main threat. It going to be a cliché to compare this to “Harry Potter” but I’m going to for a second. In “Harry Potter” these teens go Hogwarts but they face threats from dark wizards, followers of Lord Voldermort and numinous other threats throughout the series that could threaten the students and kill them. We feel like there is a threat and therefor the stakes are high. In this film the girls face nothing but drama, gossip, and teen bullying. A few regular everyday high schools are worse than this school.

The dialogue starts off being written very smartly. It has a self aware attitude, taking shots at “Twilight” and occasionally being very witty and fun. However about halfway through the film the dialogue loses that charm, which is a shame because up to that point the dialogue was one of the best parts of the film.

Vampire-Academy_portrait_w858

The movie does try to separate itself from other young adult films such as “Twilight” but trying to be a bit edger. They were going to curse, they were going to talk about sex, make out, and amp up the violence a little bit trying to cater to an older teen crowd that does want a little bit more out of their films. In some respects it does work, it does feel a bit more “real” in a manner of speaking, is it enough to really help the movie out? No.

The action in the film is weirdly shot and edited. Many times there are jump cuts where you can tell they cut the shot abruptly early to cover up a mistake. Many times you’ll be able to tell that they are missing their punches and the actors are not the most proficient at fighting.

The acting is okay. Zoey Deutch is fun and appealing and likeable as the main actress. She has potential for a very good career if she can keep improving her acting chops. Lucy Fry is solid but nothing special. Most of the other cast are good for what they are but nothing that stands out and “Modern Family” actress Sarah Hyland steps outside of her range and underperforms, and should stick with her sitcoms.

IMG_0308.CR2

When it comes down to it, this is just another failed young adult adaptation of a somewhat popular book series. It misses on any potential it might have had with a poor script and subpar action. “Vampire Academy” fails to make any impact on both the young adult media and on the vampire genre as a whole that is as of right now dwindling.

Final Score

3.5/10

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s