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Underworld

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

< read all 9 reviews

A tale that entertains yet expands upon the traditional lore of the creatures.

  • Sep 18, 2003
Rating:
+1
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 in accordance with a centuries old blood feud between the two mythical races.

With the Lycans thought to be on the verge of extinction the vampires are preparing to form a new coven by merging with a powerful overseas clan. Towards this end, members of both houses plan to awaken one of their two great leaders to guide the vampires into a new era of prosperity. Selene is troubled by the plans, as she believes that the Lychans are massing in greater numbers under the leadership of their leader Lucian (Michael Sheen), whom the vampires believe died centuries ago.

Further complicating matters is Selene’s concern that the present leader of the vampires Kraven (Shane Brolly), may not be willing to release the power he now holds and that the Lichens interest in a mortal named Michael (Scott Speedman), may indeed be the key to a larger threat to her people.

Selene is forced to defy Kraven and leave the safety of the vampire mansion to locate Michael before the Lychan hordes are able to and use him for their sinister plans. While the action in “Underworld” is loud, it never seems to have the intensity that it should, as the sense of urgency and tension seems to be missing. The cast is good, but they do not display much emotional depth and this hinders the efforts of the audience to form a connection with the characters and care for their fates.

That being said, “Underworld” does a fantastic job with breathing new life into the vampire genre. Director Len Wiseman bathes the viewers in images of eerie translucence that combine various color hues to create a look that enhances the action by surrounding it in an otherworldly ambience.

Writers Kevin Grevioux and Danny McBride are to be commended for breathing new life into the genres as he gives us a tale that entertains yet expands upon the traditional lore of the creatures and if for nothing else, that alone makes “Underworld” pure entertainment and a must see film for fans of the genre.




Recommended:
No

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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 . November 26, 2008
Underwold
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 …
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) …
About the reviewer
Gareth Von Kallenbach ()
Ranked #109
I am a syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. My work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site "Skewed … more
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About this movie

Wiki

Starring Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Michael Sheen, Shane Brolly
Directed by Len Wiseman
Writers:  Len Wiseman, Kevin Grevioux
2003

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").
view wiki

Details

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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