Valdosta Daily Times


February 18, 2014

‘Monuments Men’ not a monumental movie


VALDOSTA — Movie Review: Combine “Harry Potter” films and the “Twilight” saga and the result is this, a tepid tale based on Richelle Mead’s novel. The main personality is a “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”-type named Rose Hathaway (Deutch). She is a Dhampir, the half human/vampire protectors of the Moroi, the discreetly mortal vampires. As a Dhampir, Hathaway is tasked with protecting Lissa Dragomir (Fry), a vampire princess, from the bloodsucking, immortal vampires called the Strigoi, the good vampires’ main adversaries.

Fuzzy plot of a lackluster screenplay, jittery editing and poor acting plague this production. As mentioned earlier, the story offered is similar to “Harry Potter” and “Twilight,” so audiences are really getting the next addition to the “Potter” and “Twilight” films. “Vampire Academy” tries to combine those two narratives. Instead, it comes off as being an eclectic mix of too much. Magic, vampires, large werewolf-like beings and an elite private school are an assorted mess, a large-scale copy of better stories.  

The scenes also move quickly in a jumpy fashion. Scenes move from one to the next without smooth transitions. While the story is easy to follow, it creates a mystery that is not worth following because the nature of the mystery is an elementary layout.

Last, the acting is not convincing. The players exist in a story, but the adolescent nature of it all makes this a lesser story. This is a shame, since a few of the characters are likable.

Waters (“Mean Girls,” 2004) directs. He could do little to make this more interesting, so an incomplete story sets up sequel. Perhaps, that will be an attempt to make better what this film could not. Based on this present feature, producers should table a future film unless a better sequel is possible. That should be an easy task.

Grade: D+ (Not intelligently produced for a movie taking place in a school.)

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