Vampire Academy (2014)

vampireacademy_2014_poster
  • Time: 104 min
  • Genre: Action | Comedy | Fantasy
  • Director: Mark Waters
  • Cast: Olga Kurylenko, Sarah Hyland, Zoey Deutch, Lucy Fry, Danila Kozlovsky, Gabriel Byrne

Storyline:

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. There are good and bad vampires in their world: Moroi, who co-exist peacefully among the humans and only take blood from donors, and also possess the ability to control one of the four elements – water, earth, fire or air; and Strigoi, blood-sucking, evil vampires who drink to kill. Rose and other dhampir guardians are trained to protect Moroi and kill Strigoi throughout their education. 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.

One review

  • Mark Waters’ Vampire Academy, based on the hugely successful series of young-adult novels by author Richelle Mead, spends so much of its 100-plus minute running time trying to explain itself and attempting to conjure the same level of mass hysteria that surrounded the likes of the Twilight and Harry Potter books, that it isolates nigh-on everybody apart from those already completely in love with the source material. It’s an uncomfortable hybrid of the aforementioned Twilight (sexy vampires!) and Harry Potter (a secret school for magical types!), yet makes Stephanie Meyer and J.K. Rowling’s work seem like Dostoyevsky in comparison.

    Rose Hathaway (Zoey Deutch) and Lissa Dragomir (Lucy Fry) have run away from St. Vladimir’s Academy, trying desperately to live like real humans do. Rose is a Dhampir, a half-vampire, half-human hybrid who has dedicated her life to protecting Lissa, a royal Moroi (peace-loving vampire), and the two share a psychic connection which allows Rose to occasional eavesdrop on Lissa. A year after fleeing the school, they are re-captured by ‘dreamy’ Russian Dhampir Dimitri (Danila Kozlovsky), who whisks them both back into the care of headmistress Kirova (Olga Kurylenko), but not before battling off some red-eyed Strigoi (evil vampire). Once back, Lissa is the victim of a series of attacks, including dead animals being left for her to find, and threats scrawled on her wall written in blood.

    It’s the slightest of plots, yet Vampire Academy still somehow manages to feel over-stuffed. While Rose struggles to explain the entire universe as well as several characters’ back-stories via her own brand of sarcastic narration ripped shamelessly from Juno (2007), there’s little time to catch up with what is actually going on and no time at all to care. Even for a film that feels like it was based on a teenagers’ work of clumsily sculpted fan-fiction (although I haven’t read the book), the complete absence of wit and social observation comes as a shock given the film boasts the talents of Daniel Waters, who wrote the wonderfully dark Heathers (1988), and his brother Mark, director of the surprisingly hilarious Mean Girls (2004). Any plans for a franchise were quickly and thankfully scrapped when the film bombed upon release, and it’s not difficult to see why. The whole experience is stilted and awkward, and Deutch is unbearably annoying throughout.

    Rating: 1/5

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