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Vampire Academy

2014-02-17 15:02
What it's about:

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.

What we thought:

Yes everyone this is another teen vampire saga. It is also based on a series of six bestselling young adult paranormal romance novels written by Richelle Mead.

This movie has a bit of Harry Potter meets Mean Girls meets Twilight. Before I upset the Harry Potter fans, it is nowhere near as good as the Potter series. It seems unlikely to fill the void the highly successful Twilight Saga has left. It opened at a mere $4m at the international box office in its first week.  Maybe everyone is over the vampire thing.

The story is narrated by Rose (Zoey Deutch) a dhampiar, half human half vampire. Rose epitomises the ‘rebel with a cause’ to a T. A smart mouthed, smart ass know it all who at 17/18 believes she is capable of making all the right decisions by herself. I have to admit that I did like her character which is such a total contrast from Kristin Stewart’s Bella. She is funny, warm and knows how to kick ass. She’s the type of friend everyone wishes they had, one who would have your back no matter what. She is a likeable character and Zoey did a good job bringing her to life.

The total opposite to Rose is Vasilisa (Lucy Fry), Moroi royalty and former queen bee who possesses a special power.  Lissa is level headed, shy and even fragile but this in no way makes her weak; she possesses a quiet strength. In terms of character development Lissa’s character is the only one that shows growth. She completely loses herself when she tries to control and manipulate everyone with her powers, but in the end she learns to balance it. Vampire or not, what teen wouldn’t get high on supernatural powers? Fry has the perfect mixture to pull off the regalness and fragility to deliver this performance.

Witty dialogue, strong girls who kick ass and some good fight scenes are not enough to rescue it from some of the cheesiness in the second part of the movie. Some cringeworthy blood sucking moments will make you want to hide in your seat and a Lolita type of seduction scene between Rose and Dimitri (Danila Kozlovsky) an older, dhampiar guardian, is totally awkward to watch.

While the plot has a good recipe with themes of friendship, betrayal and love there just seems to be something missing. You wish that there was more to the story than the senseless teen fodder it ends up being. Fans of the book will probably eat up this movie, but I doubt it will turn out to be a cult phenomenon like its predecessors in the  genre.

Another teen vampire saga that could do with a little more sparkle and magic.
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