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Putting the bite on Vampires

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Vampire Academy (film)

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Vampire Academy: Rated PG-13” (1 hour, 44 min.)

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Starring: Danila Kozlovsky, Zoey Deutch, Lucy Fry, Gabriel Byrne, Olga Kurylenko

Directed by: Mark Waters

Based on the eponymous series of young adult novels, Vampire Academy, is something of a mix between Harry Potter’s magician school setting, Professor X’s Mutant training academy, Sky High, and Mean Girls. The story is ostensibly about Rose Hathaway (Kozlovsky) and Lissa Dragomir (Fry) who are a pair of BFF high school students who are simply trying to get through the normal high school dramas – vicious rumors, ex-boyfriends and (unlike most other girls their age) no small amount of bloodlust. That’s right, late nights and high stakes (real, wooden ones) are normal at St Vladimir’s, better known as the Vampire Academy.

As it turns out, Vampire Academy is an academy that trains vampires and their defenders in the arts of being vampires, utilizing their magic, and, well surviving. Apparently there are three types of folks at the Academy, Dhampirs (those who train to be a bodyguard for the Moroi), the Moroi (Vampires), Strigoi (the evil undead vampires). Rose is Dhampir and Lissa is Moroi. The pair apparently left the Academy a year earlier and have been on the run, as Rose and Lissa (correctly) believed that there was a Strigoi plot to kill Lissa, who was a princess of one of the royal houses of vampires. Only they were discovered and brought back by Dimitri Belikov (Danila Kozlovsky) where they find themselves back in the mix of things.

Well, while this film (and presumably the books on which it was based) are clearly targeted at the same demographic as were Stephanie MeyersTwilight series, only this film is sparklingly delightful, entertainingly engaging, and totally well worth watching. Mostly because of the fact that the teens in the film talk like actual teens, and the characters in the film have a clear sense of humor about themselves (and about the portrayal of vampires in popular fiction). Sure sure the film plays a little fast and loose with our pre-conceived notions of vampirism, but not so much as to twist it completely out of what we already seem to “know” about these mythical creatures of the night. This is a light, cute film, that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and simply has a good time with itself, which makes it totally worth watching.

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Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing films for some 30 years. During that time, his movie reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular articles and movie reviews.

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