Underworld: Blood Wars appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. No issues developed in this pleasing presentation.
Sharpness seemed positive. A smidgen of softness appeared at times, but the majority of the movie displayed clear, accurate images.
No signs of shimmering or jaggies occurred, and the movie lacked edge haloes. Print flaws also failed to mar the transfer.
The prior Underworld films focused on a heavy blue tint, and that continued to be the case with this one. Within those parameters, the hues looked appropriate, and HDR brought a little extra heft to the tones.
Blacks were dark and tight, while shadows showed good clarity – important given that this may be the most dimly-lit Underworld flick of them all.
HDR brought some added power to whites and contrast, though the aforementioned intense darkness of the image made those less prominent when compared to other Underworld entries. Overall, this was a positive image that deserved a “B+”.
Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Blood Wars seemed positive, though not quite as ambitious as prior films. This meant that the soundscape opened up pretty well for its action scenes, but I thought it felt less active than in the past.
Nonetheless, the mix offered a nice array of fight sequences, and those managed to expand the horizons in a compelling manner, as various elements meshed well and filled the room. Music showed good presence as well, so this turned into a very good soundscape.
Audio quality remained strong, with speech that sounded concise and distinctive. Music showed nice range and heft, while effects appeared accurate and full, with deep bass response. The soundtrack brought a good sense of sizzle to the proceedings.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? The Atmos audio expanded the prior track’s horizons in a moderate manner.
A native 4K production, the UHD felt a bit better defined and broader than the Blu-ray. That said, the movie came with such a dark image that improvements became less prominent than I might expect, as a lot of potential upgrades literally got lost in the shadows. Still, the 4K became the most accurate version of the movie.
In addition to two trailers, the 4K includes a Franchise Recap. It runs three minutes, 30 seconds and provides exactly what it states: a summary of the first four movies.
Actually, it ignores Rise of the Lycans, which brought a prequel, and mostly covers the first flick and Awakening, without much related to Evolution. Anyone who watches Blood Wars probably already knows this material, but it seems like an inoffensive addition.
More extras appear on the included Blu-ray copy, where we find a handful of featurettes. We open with The Evolution of Selene. It runs eight minutes, nine seconds and offers comments from producers Tom Rosenberg, Richard Wright and Gary Lucchesi, director Anna Foerster, and actors Kate Beckinsale, Theo James, Charles Dance, Clementine Nicholson, and Daisy Head.
We get notes about the development of Selene across five movies as well as aspects of Beckinsale’s performances. Not much information appears in this largely superficial overview.
During the six-minute, 15-second Old and New Blood, we hear from Wright, Lucchesi, Foerster, James, Nicholson, Dance, and actor Peter Andersson. “Blood” looks at returning and new characters as well as the actors who play them. Like “Evolution”, the featurette lacks much informational value.
The Evil Evolved goes for six minutes, seven seconds and features Head, Foerster, Wright, and actors Lara Pulver, Bradley James, Tobias Menzies and James Faulkner. This one continues the trend of its predecessors, as it looks at more supporting characters/actors. It also fails to deliver much of merit.
Lastly, Building a Blood War fills 12 minutes, three second with info from Foerster, Lucchesi, Rosenberg, Wright, Beckinsale, Pulver, Nicholson, Andersson, executive producer/VFX supervisor James McQuaide, production designer Ondrej Nekvasil, and costume designer Bojana Nikitovic.
“War” looks at Foerster’s impact on the production, visual effects, locations and set design, and costumes. “War” offers the most informative of the featurettes, as it gives us some good notes about production areas.
We also find a graphic novel rendition of Blood War. This uses a still frame format to show the comic book in question. It offers an interesting take on the material and is worth a look.
The disc opens with ads for Spider-Man: Homecoming, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, Trainspotting 2, Resident Evil: Vendetta and Life.
Five films into the franchise, Underworld: Blood Wars offers the same old, same old. The movie offers little in the way of thrills or drama, as it plods along without much forward momentum. The 4K UHD presents very good picture and audio as well as a smattering of minor supplements. Blood Wars offers a forgettable affair.
To rate this film, visit the original review of UNDERWORLD: BLOOD WARS