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“Vampire Academy” gives us too much to really sink our teeth into

Image courtesy of IMDB
Image courtesy of IMDB
Image courtesy of IMDB
Image courtesy of IMDB

For those of you looking for a teen fantasy romance with a mythical setting with dazzling special effects, emotionally in-depth characters, vampire folklore mixed in with the average teenage life, and a suspenseful plot leading up to an intense climax… well I wish you good luck, because you definitely won’t be finding it here.

This movie may be best described as a mix of “Twilight” (more like a parody of it) and “Harry Potter,” with a heavier dose of shameless cleavage and raging teen hormones. On top of that, the movie just fails to capture the magic of its mythical predecessors, and leaves us with a busy, overly-complex story containing some very distinct plot holes.

As you probably would’ve assumed by now, the story follows a teenage human/vampire hybrid named Dhampir, as she trains at St. Vladimir’s Academy to be a guardian for her Moira (peaceful, magical, vampire race) best friend Larissa Dragomir, who might be a princess and the last of the royal family line. Aside from inappropriately flirting with her older combat training mentor, Rose’s internal mission is to defeat the rising threat of the Strigoi, a race of evil, and to protect the Moira people of any harm.

The plot gets too complicated at this point so I’ll just tell you the gist of it. Basically, Larissa starts receiving threats (for whatever reason) from an unknown advisor at the school, so now it’s up to Rose to get down to the bottom of it and stop the evil “force” from attacking Larissa, or Rose, or just everybody- it’s pretty hard to tell.

The spunky and wild Rose is played by Zoey Deutch, the daughter of “Back to the Future” actress Lea Thompson. With a little bit of a “Juno”-esque humor and wit, Rose almost seems a little too rebellious to be taken serious as Larissa’s guardian and lets her emotions get the best of her quite often.

And just as you’d expect, you’ve got the mysteriously dark and brooding, one dimensional love interest played by newcomer Dominic Sherwood. It’s no coincidence that he looks, talks, and acts just like Edward Cullen. They even have the same pale complexion and hollow cheek bones.

Director Mark Waters, who is best known for directing hilarious teen comedies such as “Mean Girls” and “Freaky Friday,” focuses more on the “teen” rather than the mythical elements of vampire folklore. Heck, the only thing that makes these teens vampires is that fact that they occasionally feed on each other for a quick snack. I guess Waters knows a little more about high school and teenage girls than most 40 year old men do.

The real “horror” in this film would be the fact that this movie is based on a best-selling novel series that consists of six books, which means five more movies. Although “Vampire Academy” by Richelle Mead received positive reviews, there’s no doubt that the over-explaining dialogue in the book would just make the actual movies harder to sit through.

“With us, weird doesn’t begin to cover it,” says Rose, just minutes into the film, and I’d be lying if I said that she wasn’t right. Maybe it was a way of foreshadowing the confusion and business that someone would experience while watching the movie.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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Mawa Iqbal, Author

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