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Byron Shire
December 9, 2021

Vampire Academy

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Remember how, in the olden days, to be a decent vampire, all the likes of Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee and the fabulous Klaus Kinski needed were a pair of pointy fangs, a coffin to sleep in and an (optional) satin-lined cape?

Not any more. In Vampire Academy Vampires now are young spunks who complement their blood-sucking nocturnal activities with martial arts and magic.

With rare exceptions (like that little Swedish girl in Let The Right One In) they are also crushing bores.

This indescribably lousy movie introduces a character to the genre of which I was blissfully ignorant – Rose (Zoey Deutch) is a Dhampir, which is to say her role is to be a minder to a fully-fledged vampire, in this case golden-haired Lissa (Lucy Fry), who is a princess of one of twelve royal families.

The opening has the girls survive a head-on road accident that kills Lissa’s parents.

We then embark on a dog’s breakfast of a script that lurches from dream sequence to flashback to corny high-school romance to conspiracy to murder (there are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ vampires, another concept alien to traditionalists)… and somebody throttles Lissa’s moggy.

It’s all set at a Hogwarts-type school with the usual factions of gorgeous teens teasing and bullying and falling in love.

One of them looks like she’s being set up to be the Malfoy of the group, but at about the halfway point I started to think about that night’s return of the NRL to the TV and I became a glazed-eyed passenger for the duration.

Through it all I noticed that Gabriel Byrne (a wonderful actor who must be on his uppers to have allowed himself to be seen in this) was shuffling around as a sort of éminence grise of the undead, with baggy jowls and Doctor Who scarves.

And there was another fellow, long-haired and smouldering, with an eastern European accent, who reminded me of Ilie Năstase, while Joely Richardson is suitably cast as Queen Tatiana.

If you like a good vampire flick, don’t bother.

~ John Campbell

 

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2 COMMENTS

  1. I read the series a few times because i just loved it so much. I think the movie didnt leave too much out.. oh apart from the fact that they didnt show that rose and dimitri had feelings for eachother.. all of a sudden they are in love!! thats so not cool and i love the romance between the two in the book and the movie didnt portray that at all.. the movie is a cast of no named actors apart from Cathrine zeta jones.. had the producers and crew put more money into it and got better actors, this movie would beat the twilight series 10 fold!!!
    wont stop me from seeing the next movie, but I was disappointed that it wasnt done better…

  2. Are you kidding!!! This movie was fantastic. No of course it wasn’t exactly like the book. If it was then we would have zoey narrating the whole thing which would be boring. The dream with the crash was purely for people who haven’t read the books to understand the story of what had happened to lissa’s parents leaving her an orphan and also how the spirit come was awakened between rose and lissa. That was probably the most necessary scene in the whole movie. Also you obviously did not watch the movie very well because the dhampir’s aren’t called ‘minders’ they guardians. That is what they train to do. As for these being no feelings for each other between rose and Dimitri if you didn’t notice in the first book they weren’t exactly all over each other either and it only comes out at the end after the just charm scene that yes they both do have feeling for each other. Dimitri is very mysterious and private so doesn’t show his emotions in the book or movie and with the book being in roses point of view she knows she has a crush on Dimitri which is shown in the movie. If use want to actually critique a movie I suggest you know what you are talking about first.

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