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The adult characters are almost all total lost causes. Joely Richardson’s minimal screen time is completely insignificant. She could and should have been written out of the film to give more time to Olga Kurylenko’s Headmistress Kirova. This is easily the most one-dimensional role in the film. Kirova’s actions have no motivation whatsoever beyond being the all-business principal of sorts and, even worse, her scenes are so poorly written it’s a wonder Kurylenko was able to perform them with such sincerity. Claire Foy had something going with Ms. Karp, especially with the eeriness that comes with not blinking throughout the entire film, but Daniel Waters really misses the mark in terms of using Ms. Karp’s storyline to build Lissa’s predicament.
“Vampire Academy” isn’t a particularly well-made book-to-film adaptation, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun and there’s nothing wrong with going to the movies, letting loose and getting a little silly. Ultimately, the bad will likely outweigh the good and turn this potential franchise into a fleeting film fad, but for now, there’s no harm in giving it a go for the sake of a quick, upbeat laugh and thrill.
By Perri Nemiroff