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10 February 2014

Not Really a Movie Review: Vampire Academy

Hi, guys. As you can tell from the title of this post, this is not really a movie review. I wanted to write about the Vampire Academy movie, but I kind of suck at writing movie reviews and it would take forever. I wanted to share with you my feelings while it was still fresh in my mind, so with inspiration from this Buzzfeed list, I am going to list for you the reasons that I recommend seeing the VA movie. I'll preface this by saying that I am a big fan of Richelle Mead and the series, but I really tried to keep my expectations pretty low for the movie since Hollywood has a pretty good track record of producing some really bad YA/MG book to movie adaptations (Percy Jackson, anyone?).  Like many, the marketing for this movie worried me. Glad to say though that I was pleasantly surprised by the film and would definitely watch it again.

Alright, here are my my reasons why you should see the Vampire Academy movie.

1. It is true to the books. 
It's been quite a while since I've read the first Vampire Academy book but I didn't notice any huge omissions or changes. I was a little bit sad that Adrian didn't make an appearance though. Pretty sure he doesn't really show up until book 2 in the series as well, but I would have loved to have had an Adrian cameo.

2. Zoey Deutch as Rose
I was a little skeptical when Deutch was cast as Rose. I think in my head, there was no one who was going to be able to play and be good enough. But Detuch really throws herself into the role (literally at times) and I think she really captured the fierce, badass Rose that we all love and still manages to act like a teenager. I may have a girl crush on Zoey (just a small one).

3. The fight scenes
There were a few instances where the fighting was a bit over the top (my friend could not stop laughing at the head butting scene) but, for the most part, I really enjoyed the fighting choreography. I loved the brief glimpse we got of the training ground with the obstacle course and wish we could have seen more of it. (Note that I would love to see a training montage in the next film, if there is one. There's just something about training montages that are just so entertaining and make you feel like you should go out and run  a mile. Not that I do.) It's also clear that Deutch is doing a lot of the actual fighting herself and I give her props for doing it.

4. The friendship between Lissa and Rose.
I am so glad that the movie got this part right. The friendship is a huge part of the VA books and I am glad that they didn't throw it over for the popular romance angle. Yes, there are boys, but Rose and Lissa's friendship is the main focus here, not romance. They fight, like teenagers girls will do, but in the end their loyalty to each other always wins out.

5. It's funny.
Yes, the trailers made it look like this movie was going to be just a big one-liner. However, I think the film has a nice mix of humor and drama. I loved the pop culture references (like when Rose calls Mason "Ducky") and I definitely laughed out loud a few times.

6. World building that isn't painfully awkward.
I get it. It's hard to set up a world in a 2 hour film. What's done in hundreds of pages in a book has to be done quickly in a movie in order to snare the audience. Movies will often resort to bad voice over or a quickly constructed history lesson at the beginning of the film to get readers up to speed, which always feels slightly pandering to me. I think VA does a pretty good job of laying out the world without being too overt or cheesy. The flash backs were a little choppy at times but overall the film did a good job of explaining the world in a way that wasn't eye-roll inducing.

7. Good looking cast
Yes, I am shallow. I like looking at pretty people. VA boasts an attractive cast, though not unbelievably so. I personally hate it when every person looks like a supermodel in a movie (blasphemy, I know). They also had great chemistry together and were believable as friends on-screen.

8. Rose & Dimitri
YES. One of my favorite couples is finally on the big screen. I think Zoey Deutch and Danila Kozlovsky make a pretty adorable Rose and Dimitri.

9. It's fun.
Yes, I said the F word. Not every movie has to be an Oscar contender. I like that Vampire Academy doesn't take itself too seriously and isn't afraid to poke fun at itself. It's a movie about vampires in high school, for goodness sake. Let's have some fun with it.

There you have it - my reasons for seeing the VA movie. I know it's not going to be everyone's cup of tea but I think it's worth a try and you may be surprised. Personally I had a good time watching it and would love to see a sequel.

Agree, disagree? I'd loved to hear your opinions, so let me know what you thought of the movie in the comments below. :)

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