'Vampire Academy' has some bite, but not much
The various young blood-suckers of “Vampire Academy” belong to warring clans, with a royal family, “guardians” of those royals, silver daggers they use to kill each other and varying degrees of sensitivity to the harsh light of day.
And, just in case there's still confusion: “They don't sparkle, either.”
It's a self-aware horror / action comedy, first in a possible franchise (sigh) based on Richelle Mead's books, that sits somewhere on the border between “Twilight,” “Harry Potter” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
Jokes? They bought those in bulk. Line after somewhat-amusing line, most of them delivered in a near-slurred blur by the snarky half-human novice guardian Rose, played by “Suite Life” alum Zoey Deutch.
Rose is guarding Lissa (Lucy Fry), who is a princess, so, naturally, she has a British accent. They're bonded, those two. Telepathic.
Rose and Lissa have been on the run from school, but St. Vladimir finally nabs them and brings them back...
Wait, “Saint” Vladimir?
That's right. Mead's books have student vampires learning of their patron saint, hearing Eastern Orthodox-ish sermons in chapel, in between the usual instances of high-school hazing, mean girl-ing and make-out sessions. And managing one's magic.
Gabriel Byrne is an elder something or other at the school, Joely Richardson is the scolding queen who lords over them, and Olga Kurylenko the headmistress who “could have been a model.”
Set in Montana, filmed in the U.K.'s castle-country, the school is the only place Lissa can be protected from the Strigoi, evil vampires who want to interrupt the royal line.
Deutch tends to rush her lines, but a leggy, sitcom-trained 18 year-old is what the role called for — the sort of girl who can make an “Ewww” face after handing the princess a tissue to wipe off blood from a “feeder,” a human vampire fan who submits to the occasional neck-suck to keep the pale ones in the pink.
Sexy, PG-13 sassy, flip and funnier than it has a right to be, written by Daniel Waters (“Heathers”) and directed by his brother Mark (“Mean Girls”), “Vampire Academy” still feels slapdash, perhaps under-budgeted — sort of a hit-or-miss, low-risk trial balloon to see if “Twilight Fever” has, indeed, faded. We'll know by sunrise.
Roger Moore is a staff writer for McClatchy-Tribune News Service.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- ‘Me and Earl’ movie gets July release date
- Review: Smith, Robbie throw wet blanket into ‘Focus’
- Kickstarter funds would go toward great-niece’s film about Warhol
- Review: ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ is bloody good mockumentary fun
- Review: ‘Lazarus’ almost raises a whole film genre from the dead
- Museum offers Enigma encryption