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2003 action/horror film about a secret war between vampires and werewolves.

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Where's the TEETH?

  • Nov 26, 2008
  • by
I knew before even going into this movie that it would not be "pure" vampire type film. Still, to be disappointed on top of that was a big letdown. I love monsters. I love vampires. I love werewolves. I would have accepted this movie a bit more if they had left out the references to these classic fiends and created a whole different type of demonic bad guy that *should* use guns.

Insistance on using these two familiar and well loved creatures of the night was nothing more than a hook to draw in an audience; beyond that the people/creatures had no resemblnce whatsoever to the two legendary monsters. The mere idea of these supposedly vicious and blood/flesh hungry beasties running around shooting special guns at each other for no other reason than "we are at war" is as ludicrous as a starving man shooting a cow and not eating it.

Okay, the premise? Vampires and werewolves are at war, and we don't find out why until the end, which is nonclimatic and doesn't make any sense. There is one person on the earth that contains blood that the werewolves want, the vampires see the lycans chasing the human so they chase him down too. Yawn. That's it.

What I didn't like about the movie? Other than what I mentioned above, the plot was so thin you could read a newspaper through it. The script was horrible, and while the premise of a battle between vampires and werewolves would be very cool, you need to include some TEETH! It was as if the scriptwriters could not make up their minds whether to make anaction-shoot-em-up movie or a horror movie, and wound out with less than the sum of both.
In particular is a scene when Selena (Kate Beckinsale) drives her car into the water with Michael (Scott Speedman). He "rescues" her after she hits her head on the windshield and gets knocked out, pulls her from thewater, gives her CPR, after which she coughs out a little water and comes to. HELLO! Vampires are dead. They are not alive. They don't breathe. They don't have heartbeats. They can't be knocked out, and they can't drown. And after all this, Selena tells Kraven "He saved my life." Riiiiiiiight. What life? You're undead!

Another problem with the vampires was that they seem to have forgotten they can change into bats and fly away. Instead, they just stand there and let the werewolves chew them.With the werewolves, only Michael changes with the full moon (of course) but the other werewolves are changing back and forth like a malfunctioning traffic light. The special effects were mediocre; the turning of the werewolves was really no better han "American Werewolf In London", and all the fighting was so "A-La-Matrix" that for a moment I was confused as to which movie I was really watching.

Okay, so what DID I like about the movie? The acting was actually verye good. Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Michael Sheen, Shane Brolly, and especially Bill Nighy played their roles very well. The acting alone is the only reason I gave this movie 2 stars instead of 1. It is a visually stylish movie as far as dress and scenery. I liked the idea of vampires and werewolves descending from one anscestor. I thought that Viktor's tomb was very cool, and the visual effects of the awakening of Viktor were pretty slick. I am glad that I rented before buying on this one. It just got scratched off my purchase list. After viewing it, I just wanted to run out and bite someone in order to fill the hunger left unsated.


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January 26, 2009
More Underworld reviews
review by . December 03, 2009
Underworld is a film that continues to water down vampires as most of us know them. This process began with Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, but these stories still retained the horrific true nature of vampires even with a more relatable, human face. Now we come to this day where between Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which I did enjoy) and Twilight (hate with burning passion) we have films in the middle of this watered down vampire genre that many have grown used to. There's the good humanized vampires …
review by . January 30, 2007
Werewolves and vampires, two staples of the horror genre, are mixed together in this action - drama set in some European country where it is always night and raining. The protagonist is Selene, a gorgeous and very athletic female vampire who is a Death Dealer; someone who kills Lycans. Lycans are werewolves, and the two races are immortal enemies. The story centers around her relationship with a man who happens to be an original descendant of the man who gave rise to both vampires and werewolves. …
review by . October 21, 2004
Wiseman very capably directed this film, based on a good script with some intriguing twists on the legends of vampires and werewolves. First of all, this is a great DVD from a picture and surround sound viewpoint, allowing you to enjoy the great special effects, stunts, and delightfully gloom sets. Seeing the Widescreen really made it more impressive than a first viewing on satellite TV. Some of the stunts (and costumes) will remind you of the Matrix.  The plot moves quickly and tells …
review by . September 01, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
"Underworld" is fun to watch, but it's really nothing more than an average sci-fi/action flick. One thing is for sure, this movie is in no way a horror film. Take any standard action yarn, replace the good guys with vampires and the bad guys with werewolves. Next, throw in a twist that bonds one of the goodies and baddies together. Finally, blend in a betrayal and a cover-up and you basically have the storyline. There's nothing new here.    The two supernatural enemies really …
review by . April 24, 2004
There's barely an original moment in Underworld, and sadly those parts that are derived from elsewhere in motion picture history (that is, all of it), are derived without wit or feeling for their antecedents or the genre. I have a feeling this film would never have been made were it not for the Matrix. It basically is the Matrix, only with werewolves and vamps, and a blue wash over all the cinematography rather than a green one. So we have a hard-arsed chick in a tight patent-leather cat suit toting …
review by . April 20, 2004
This is a film that certainly should stand as an example of "style over substance." All the actors (except Scott Speedman)run around obviously feeling very cool and stylish in their dark costumes, but they forget to invest any real feeling into their performances.But that isn't entirely their fault. The idea of a whole separate "underworld" co-existing with ours, wherein vampires and lycans battle each other is pretty neat, but it's hard to imagine a movie doing LESS with the concept. And Kate Beckinsale …
review by . January 19, 2004
UNDERWORLD is being horridly underrated. Those who were looking for "Romeo and Juliet" are furious. I myself found the film to be better than I expected. UNDERWORLD is an extraodinary BLADE-esque horror/thriller with similarities to both BLADE and THE MATRIX. Kate Beckinsale plays Selene, a vampire "Death Dealer". Her job is to eleminate any and all Lycans (werewolves), who have been at war with the vampires for a millenia. But her determination wavers when she meets a newly-made Lycan (Scott Speedman) …
review by . September 18, 2003
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Some nice Effects a fresh Idea.     Cons: Action is ho-hum and you never do care for the characters.     The Bottom Line: For Diehards only otherwise catch a cheap show or wait for the video.        Perched on a ledge high above a dark, rain soaked city, a woman and her companion watch and wait. For Selene (Kate Beckinsale), this is a night like many others where she will seek out Lycans (werewolves), and eliminate them …
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I want to thank Everyone for welcoming me back! :) I'm here to stay folks, my sabbatical on writing reviews is over and I'll continue to review for Lunch. It's great to be back, too! Thanks again for … more
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About this movie


Starring Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Michael Sheen, Shane Brolly
Directed by Len Wiseman
Writers:  Len Wiseman, Kevin Grevioux

Product Description
Underneath the city streets, amid the labyrinth of subway tunnels and gothic ruins, the two most notorious creatures of the night are embroiled in an all-out war that has been going on for centuries. It is the culmination of a blood-thirsty battle between the vampires and their mortal enemies, the werewolves. Stars: Kate Beckinsale (Pearl Harbor, My Life Without Me), Scott Speedman (My Life Without Me, TV's "Felicity").
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Director: Len Wiseman
Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: September 19, 2003
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Danny R. McBride
Runtime: 121 minutes
Studio: Lakeshore Entertainment, Subterranean Productions LLC, Sony Pictures
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