- RatedPG /GenreAction, Fantasy, Mystery
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In the wake of ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Twilight’, studios have increasingly turned to adaptations of young adult fiction novels as potential franchise starters, with the expectation that the passionate fan bases of these books will turn up in full force to fill up the studios' money coffers like it was Scrooge McDuck's basement.
So far, that hasn't happened.
With every success story such as that of ‘The Hunger Games’, comes a gazillion more flops such as ‘Beautiful Creatures’, ‘The Mortal Instruments’ and ‘The Host’.
‘Vampire Academy’ is the latest contender to join the fray, based on the series written by Richelle Mead.
The Weinstein Company's wager on starting its own successful young adult franchise is an attempt to blend the “hot vampire” appeal of ‘Twilight’ together with the “magical school” environment of ‘Harry Potter’.
MY BEST FRIEND IS ALSO A VAMPIRE
The story revolves around two runaway vampires, 17-year-old Rose Hathaway (Zoey Deutch, daughter of 'Back to The Future' actress Lea Thompson) who is a Dhampir, a half-human, half-vampire training to be guardian to her best friend Lissa (Lucy Fry), a Moroi princess and heir to the throne of Dragomir. The Moroi is a breed of peaceful and mortal vampires living among humans.
The two girls have no luck hiding among humans as they are dragged back to St Vladimir's Academy, where the two of them quickly become the targets of abuse from the rest of the school population.
In between being victims of bullying, the two friends also discover the growing threat of the Strigoi, the traditional vicious undead.
The three types of vampires do make for a rather interesting concept and dynamic, with the Dhampirs being fully devoted to protecting the Moroi.
In Rose and Lissa's case, they share such a deep bond that it allows Rose to sometimes experience things from Lissa's perspective. However, that is about as good as it gets.
‘Vampire Academy’ takes that one good idea and completely ruins it with a whole bag of poorly executed moments.
The plot is an over-convoluted mess that swings from high school clique schtick to a throne-snatching scheme that features people on screen explaining mysterious vampire mythology to the viewers. Even the cast members look confused, as if they were trying to catch up.
So much time is spent explaining those plot points that character detail is largely pushed aside, leaving most of the supporting characters to be generic, stereotypical background players.
There is the generic nice guy with dark hair who has a crush on someone, and the generic misunderstood dude with dark hair who ends up saving the day.
PRETTY YOUNG THINGS, LAME QUIPS
Speaking of the cast, they are mostly attractive looking young actors that resemble Robert Pattinson or are sexy girls in uniforms, so you know what the biggest selling point is for this flick.
Director Mark Waters’ previous involvement with ‘Mean Girls’ is trumpeted aloud on posters for the movie. There is still doubt that he is the right man for this job, and his lack of enthusiasm shows at parts, as the storytelling degenerates into a series of flashbacks and dream sequences that don't really work at all.
Lame quips are fired at an amazingly rapid rate, and rarely do jokes hit the mark. Everything in this movie moves quite fast, yet it is never once compelling.
‘Vampire Academy’ is almost a complete disaster, put together without much thought and then overstuffed with goodies that don't work at all.