Movie review: “Underworld”

Tonight, while we were prowling the new releases shelf at our local DVD rental place, we came across a movie called Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. The back cover said that it was the prequel to Underworld, which we hadn’t seen. According to the chap at the store, there was also a sequel, Underworld: Evolution.

I wasn’t entirely sure whether this series was quite my cup of tea, but I wanted to give hubby a treat. 🙂 So we decided to take out Underworld (2003).

The Wikipedia summarises the plot quite nicely:

“Underworld is a 2003 action-horror film about the secret history of Vampires and a type of werewolf known as Lycans (an abbreviated form of lycanthrope). It is the first film in the Underworld series. The main plot revolves around Selene (Kate Beckinsale), a vampire who is a Death Dealer hunting Lycans. She finds herself attracted to a human, Michael Corvin (Scott Speedman) who is being targeted by the Lycans. After Michael is bitten by a Lycan, Selene must decide whether to do her duty and kill him or go against her clan and save him.”

Selene (Kate Beckinsale) is a seriously cool chick in this flick, and Michael Corvin (Scott Speedman) ain’t bad looking either (well, at least when he’s not busy transmogrifying into a werewolf and later into a hybrid between the two). But most of the characters felt rather two-dimensional and not entirely convincing.

I struggled to figure out who was who, and who belonged to which warring faction. Everyone was wearing black, and most of the movie looked as though it had been filmed in the middle of a thunderstorm, with torrential rain pelting down in virtually every outdoor scene. It had a very Gothic look, classical horror movie.

Apart from that, I couldn’t make up my mind who were the good guys and who were the bad guys. Because they were ALL rather bad (I wouldn’t want to bring any of them home to meet the folks, for instance).

For many long, noisy minutes of the movie, I kept my eyes firmly shut, even intermittently putting my fingers in my ears so that I wouldn’t hear the terrible sounds of the frequent battle scenes. Calling them ‘fighting sequences’ is too clinical a word for the brutality and violence these vampires and werewolves displayed towards each other.

If you’re rather squeamish about seeing blood (copious amounts of it), and if close-ups of bullet-shattered and claw-ripped flesh makes your stomach do a somersault, then don’t take out this movie.

Bluntly put, this was NOT my cup of tea.

Speaking of which… Could someone put the kettle on, please? 😉

One thought on “Movie review: “Underworld”

  1. Vampire movies aren’t my cup of tea either. I don’t think I’ve seen a single once since Frank Langella played Dracula in the late 70s.

    I still recall the lines from a Mad Magazine commentary on this type of movie years ago:

    All the blood and all the gore
    That’s what living color’s for.

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