This movie is great! A great example of a poor translation from book to film that is.
What did I just see? I'm still scratching my head over it. It's an incredibly messy, rushed movie, that's lacking a good main plot line and some well enough developed secondary characters in it.
Thing that makes this movie especially abysmal to watch is the flow and pacing. At times it feels like whole scenes are missing from the movie and that it's glossing over a whole bunch of stuff, that no doubt all got handled and explained far better in the novel that it's based on.
Really, turning a book into a movie is not half as simple and straightforward as it may sound, as this movie clearly demonstrates. I see this movie as a perfect example of a novel to film, gone wrong. You always have to make some cuts and make some other choices, in regards to its story and characters and change some things around a bit but this movie very obviously had absolutely no idea what choices to make and what to do with its story.
Most of the time, it isn't even really clear what its main plot line is supposed to be all about. The movie pretty much throws you right into the midst of things, without explaining or setting things up properly first. It expects you to go along with things, which can work out at times, as long as you make clear what world it's set in and what all of its rules are. This movie does neither really and it does an extremely poor job with explaining and setting up its world. I mean, why is there even a Vampire Academy in the first place? What do they even teach over there? The movie surely doesn't make this clear. And where did that whole joined mind things come from? What's with all those clans and the royal blood thing? Since when can vampires perform magic? So many questions and the movie is providing so few answers, or rather said, absolutely no answers at all. The answer to everything probably should be; read the books if you want to understand things and get some more background information, for you surely won't get any of that from this movie.
The story really lacks more than a few fundamental things in it, such as for instance a good and clear 'conflict' and strong visible villain and some other already earlier mentioned things, such as some good story background and character development. The main character is OK enough but every other character in this movie gets horrible 'mistreated'. Most of them just walk around in this movie to fill up the screen it seems but other than that, they hardly add anything to the story. It's disturbing to see how some seemingly important characters get hardly developed, so also whenever they have to do something relevant for the story, it hardly makes much of an impact. Same can be said for all of the 'twists'. It never quite works out, since the movie and story hardly ever works out as an engaging enough one.
Only thing I liked about this movie was Zoey Deutch's performance. She basically also plays the only likable enough character in this, though I have to say that the acting in general really isn't too bad in his movie. It's just the story, storytelling and dialog that turns this movie into an incredibly poor and messy one.
I just can't get over the fact how incredibly poorly this movie is told. It's lacking focus, rushes every single scene and can't even manage to get the transitions between most scenes right, which causes you to start thinking that whole scenes are missing from the movie and nothing about it is really connected to each other. It's really one of the worst 'mainstream' directed movies that I have seen in a long while and it's the foremost reason why the movie itself is an incredibly bad and nearly unwatchable one.