Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Vampire Academy Movie | Review & Discussion

Warning: The following movie contains just as much cheese as nachos. You have been warned.
They Got The 'Suck' Part Right

So, I got to see my favourite novel series Vampire Academy be ruined by Hollywood film makers who know nothing about the books. A couple parts were funny and others were not, most of them being cheesy, cliché and typical, and most of the scenes with Dimitri were cringeworthy. 

After I saw the trailer which looked like a chick flick meets a parody about vampires in high school, that's when I knew this movie would 'SUCK'—pun intended—and it's a real shame because it had potential to be almost as good as the books. Here's why.

I was never big on reading books, in fact I still don't, but when I picked up Vampire Academy, I couldn't stop reading them. I loved most of the characters and their chemisty—especially Rose and Dimitriit was easy to imagine their surroundings, the bond between Rose and Lissa was something different, it was funny at times and it was dark and mysterious. The movie, on the other hand, lacked so many of these things which was what made it a disappointment.

The ideal movie would have been similar to the Harry Potter movies in terms of it being dark, mysterious and magical, as well as liking the characters, but it's nothing like that. It's Mean Girls but with Vampires, a bit of magic and a lot of typical and cheesy moments. Disappointing, I know.

When books are turned into movies, they rarely ever are liked by fans because they imagine the book a different way to everyone else. I kept that in mind while watching it, but even still it was terrible. It didn't leave me satisfied as I hoped it would and some of the viewers even walked out of the theatre half way into the film. That says something.

The Plot

Vampire Academy is the story of two friends, each who are different forms of vampires. Rose Hathaway, the main character, is a Dhampir—half vampire, half humanwhose job is to protect her best friend Vasilisa, a Moroi—beautiful, wealthy, magical and living vampires who don't instantly die in sunlight. Each Dhampir is assigned to be a guardian to a Moroi. Rose is Lissa's, however, they share a powerful one way bond where Rose can see through Lissa's perspective.  

After they are captured from running away from St Vladimir's Academy—the most obvious Russian name everRose is in trouble and is to be trained by the most badass, 'hot', Russian and powerful Dhampir of them all, Dimitri Belikov...except he isn't any of those things, only Russian. Though he is twenty-eight and she is only seventeen, Rose falls for Dimitri and continues to do so after every sweaty training session with him. 

In the meantime, Lissa hasn't discovered her specialisation in any element, but later finds out it's the rarest element of all. With Lissa in danger, the two friends are hated at school but need to find out who is leaving sinister messages for Lissa. 

With two love stories, forbidden love, a ton of utterly cheesy moments and remarks, lame fighting scenes, magic, no sparkling vampires, a whole load of bitching and a hint of pedophlia, Vampire Academy.

Rated VA for: Very Awful.

Seriously, just stick with the books!

What I Liked
When it comes to 'What I Liked' about the movie, I'm finding it tough for me to decide.

The Humour
I will admit, a few of Rose's remarks made me laugh a little along with other scenes with different characters, like Christian for example when he uses his ability on someone who is making fun of Lissa. The scenes of humour during certain parts was well done and Zoey Deutchwho plays Rose—did a good job sticking to her character with her 'whatever' and 'bad girl' attitude, though, at times, it was a bit much.

I found myself oddly loving Christian's character more than Dimitri's—I'll get to Dimitri in the next part—unlike the first book where I found him dark and a little creepy in the beginning, but not in the movie. His character is likeable, rebellious at times and good-looking in a pretty/bad boy kind of way.

And lastly, but definitely not least—and not even related—Rose's badass jacket I really want!

The Best Part of the Film
This jacket.... It's perfect.

Probably the best thing I saw in the film.

Okay, now moving on to the next part; the part that will be the majority of this review.

What I Didn't Like
Where do I start?

Too Comical
This is one of the main reasons why I didn't like the film. Unlike the book, the movie isn't as serious as it should be. It was way too comical and too bitchy.

Rose's character is tough, strong, sometimes witty and doesn't take crap from anyone. In the film, she is always cracking jokes and doesn't take anything seriously. It felt like the makers were trying to make Rose say something to amuse the audience constantly instead of impressing them. Sometimes the amusing moments worked and other times it didn't. 

In short, it felt more of a parody; a movie to make you laugh rather than to be taken seriously. Such a shame.

Dimitri (an obvious one)
This was a huge disappointment. When I imagine Dimitri, I picture a man similar to Ben Barnes—someone who can be good-looking, cute and dark at the same time. Danila Kozlovsky doesn't fit the roll in my opinion. Sure, he's actually Russian, but he looks like a creepy uncle (Rose even pulls the uncle line in the movie)—or even young Professor Snapein his early to mid forties crushing and perving on a seventeen year old girl. It wasn't romantic and the chemistry between Rose and Dimitri was so awkward and, at times, cringeworthy to the point where me and a few others laughed, especially the first time Rose and Dimitri kiss in the scene below.
'Hot' Just Got Creepy
Ugh, it was kind of painful to watch, not going to lie. He just looked too old for her and the scene ended so abrupt like, "Oh, we were about to have sex. Lissa's missing and I'm not even the slightest bit embarrassed by this situation at all." *Dimitri stares intensely at her then gets up* END. They acted like nothing happened and it bothered me. Almost all of the Rose and Dimitri scenes bothered me actually. There was no connection between them.

The only exception I'll make was when Rose kept sneaking up on him and pinning him to the floor. That was the only cute/funny part between them. That's it.

Wait. Sorry, what? Lissa has a British accent?! Seriously? Mind=Blown. Okay then....

So, apart from Lissa's accent, her appearance is also something else that doesn't match the books. Lissa is described as being the most beautiful, angelic-looking and captivating female character, but in the movies, she isn't. She reminded me of Taylor Swift; a country girl, but with a fancy accent. Not the actress I would have chosen to cast as her.

Some of the Fashion
Not a big deal but...they could've gotten more appealing dresses, I'm just sayin'.

Cheese Fest
Warning: The following movie contains just as much cheese as nachos.

Rated C for Cheese.

Honestly, it does. You know those typical cheesy moments when the girl walks into the room in slow motion, everyone staring at her, and then walks past her crush, each exchanging a slow, desiring stare because she looks all so beautiful dressed up? Well, that's the case with the dance scene, except it isn't cute, just lame and amusing...and a little creepy. I couldn't help but chuckle at how bad this scene was. It was like watching an old man creeping on a seventeen year old girl at a high school dance. Mmm, gross!

Lame Referencing
I don't know about anyone else, but I hate when some movies, especially for this story, talk 'modern'. By that I mean Rose mentioning missing her iPhone 5. It might seem 'cool' now for the current society watching this movie in the present time, but technology gets outdated fast and it will make the movie age faster in years time.

Another thing, I'll admit, I hate the Twilight movies and its story and the concept of sparkling vampires overall, but making fun of it in the actual movie wasn't a good idea. It's what made it seem even more of a vampire parody rather than a great story about friendship, battling and love. Speaking of Twilight, Christian kind of reminded me of Edward, but a better version.


The Final Verdict

  • Stuck to the storyline, mostly...kind of...
  • Some scenes made me laugh
  • Christian was better than I imagined
  • Rose's jacket
  • That's seriously it. 

  • Barely anything serious about it
  • The romance was awkward and didn't exist
  • Some of the characters don't match their descriptions 
  • Too comical 
  • Too typical 
  • Cheesy, cringeworthy moments
  • Looked a bit low budget
  • Dimitri looks too old and is creepy
  • 'Scary' scenes weren't scary at all
  • Unbelievable
  • Lame referencing
  • Couldn't take it seriously
  • I'm repeating myself
  • Overly showing their fangs to remind viewers they are vampires
  • Directors and producers who have never read these amazing books ruined this film with so many clichés and corny moments.

I hate to say this, but overall, I didn't like it. It didn't stay true to the books and it literally 'SUCKED'. I still love Vampire Academy, but I'm not going to lie, watching this movie ruined it a bit for me. I was really hoping it would be almost as good as the way I imagined it, but no. Disappointing.

Would I watch the sequel? Possibly, but only just to see Adrian and if it has improved which I doubt it will. I really hope it does get better, but I have a strong feeling it won't. But the real question is, do you think they should make the sequel? Well, if it's anything like this one...

A little harsh, but it could have been amazing if the film was done right.

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