IMDB Rating: 6.8/10
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence, bloody images, sexual content and language
Cast: Zoey Deutch, Lucy Fry, Danila Kozlosvky, Gabriel Byrne, Sarah Hyland, Dominic Sherwood, Cameron Monaghan, Sami Gayle
IMDB Summary: Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, half human/vampire, guardians of the Moroi, peaceful, mortal vampires living discretely within our world. Her legacy is to protect the Moroi from bloodthirsty, immortal Vampires, the Strigoi. This is her story.
I had really high expectations for this movie. The critics weren’t rating it highly but practically every YA book blog was raving about it. So I knew it had to be good.
And good it was.
First of all, the screenplay was great. It really captured the essence of Richelle Mead’s writing style, especially the dry humor. Many of the lines were STRAIGHT FROM THE BOOK, hallelujah, and though it zoomed through some things, the plot followed the book extremely closely. Probably more closely than almost any other book-to-film adaptation I’ve ever seen. Now, there is a lot of information in the first book of the Vampire Academy series, so there were moments where I thought, “if someone in here hasn’t read this (which is probably the majority of the people watching), it’s very likely that they’ll be somewhat confused”. But for those of us who love the books and have read them all multiple times, it was such fun seeing these massively entertaining characters brought to life. Rose narrates some of the movie, giving the audience key information that helps them along. The most confusing info would probably be the stuff dealing with her and Lissa’s bond and all of the shadow-kissed stuff. It was easier to understand in the book than in the movie (I thought).
Please don’t be mistaken. This is a movie about VAMPIRES. Hence the title. If you think Vampires are stupid, you should not see this movie. This is like Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Mean Girls. No this is not some Twilight spin-off. It’s far funnier, more clever, more romantic, and all around more awesome than Twilight. But if you’re cool with vamps, you will probably enjoy Vampire Academy. And I’ll be honest; the movie is far better than the trailer made it look.
What a fantastic cast!! Props to Zoey Deutch who handled the lead with the grace and poise (and hysterical delivery) of a seasoned pro. She is such a talent, and I hope we get to see a lot more of her in the upcoming years (especially as Rose). Lucy Fry was a nice foil as Lissa, Rose’s best friend, and Sarah Hyland was adorable as the insecure and talkative Natalie.
I’m not going to lie, before I saw the movie, I was not convinced that I was going to like Danila Kozlovsky as Dmitri.
I was wrong. I was so very wrong.
Now sure, he wasn’t QUITE as dashing as I was hoping for, but as the movie went on, this didn’t bother me one bit. He grew on me, and I thought he was cast perfectly. His rare and absolutely adorable smiles gave the audience a glimpse of where Rose and Dmitri’s relationship is heading. They had fantastic chemistry, and I’m excited to see their relationship grow and develop.
There were some good fight scenes, and hopefully these will just continue to get bigger and better as the series goes on. There was lots of high school drama, but that’s how the first book is, so I was good with it. Mead moves on to bigger and better things as the series progresses. The ending set us up for a sequel, so I will be EXTREMELY disappointed if they don’t make another. Especially since this was such a strong start. Zoey Deutch really does make the whole thing work, and I hope she gets the chance to continue the fantastic work she started.