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Underworld Rise of the Lycans

The third film in the "Underworld" series is a prequel that tells the history behind the blood feud between vampires and werewolves.

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Underworld: Rise of the Lycans Review

  • Feb 4, 2009
  • by
Of the early 2000's, the Underworld franchise in my opinion has been the best trilogy made in this decade and perhaps in the top 10 best trilogies of all time.  However these films never seem to have gotten the media attention they deserved.  They have always had this sort of cult following, yet the films keep making enough money were sequels and prequels were able to get made and Rise of the Lycans was just as good as the previous two films, sticking to the great dark and true Gothic tones.

The one question that I kept getting asked was, "Is that supposed to be Kate Beckinsales charcter?" in regards to Rhona Mitras character, Sonja, and I kept responding...NO!  Now did Rhona Mitra look a lot like Selene in the third Underworld installment, yes, but she was supposed to!  Let us get this out of they way now, the reason that Viktor turned Selene into a vampire in the first place instead of slaughtering her with the rest of her family was because and I quote, "You reminded him so much of his precious Sonja!" That is why she looks so much like her.  Now having explained that, Rhona Mitra really came into her own as Sonja.  While she had the same bad ass demeanor as Selene, she was also part of a very different time and had this fierceness in her that even Selene did not have.  For the most part, Viktor was the only person that Selene ever really obeyed, while Sonja disobeyed Viktor, her own father at every moment she could. 

I also really enjoyed how well both Michael Sheen and Mitra played in this Romeo and Juliet type of forbidden love and despite knowing the consequences, continued with it anyway.  These two actors had great chemistry on screen together and I am really interested in seeing Frost/Nixon in which Sheen stars in.  Just finishing up with Rhona Mitra though.  I think she is a real up and coming star in Hollywood.  She's Beautiful, sexy and a great actor.  There is actually a rumor going around that she may take on the mantle of Lara Croft in the rumored third Tomb Raider installment.  One can only hope.

I was really impressed with Michael Sheen coming back into the role of Lucian because of the long hiatus he had of first playing the role back in 2003.  Six years is a long time not to have played a role, but Sheen came back to the role as if it was yesterday.  As much as I enjoyed his chemistry with Rhona Mitra, his scenes with Bill Nighy were amazing to watch as well.  I mean, there's a blood feud when you see one. What I enjoyed most was how Sheen really convinced the audience that he could be this leader of men/lycans and give them their freedom.  And it would be real freedom, not going from one master to another.  And Sheen was really able to bring out the fraud that was Viktor through both actors great performances.  And when Lucian got emotional about something, whether that was Sonja or freeing his people, you wanted to be there in the thick of it with him.

As far as the film itself, despite not having Les Wiseman at the helm (though he was still very much a part of this one), Patrick Tatopoulos did a brilliant job in his directorial debut making this movie really come to life.  The sets were magnificent and very period.  The movie also wasn't terribly long either which I thought was a good thing.  It ran  little over an hour and a half and that is all it really needed.  He also did a good job of not changing the mythology that was already in place from the prior two films.  Instead, he used them in Rise of the Lycans to have things make more sense to people.  One of the major things I was concerned about with this movie was whether or not they were going to change the way in which Soja dies.  If you remember back to the first Underworld film, there is a flashback scene were the execution is shown with Lucian looking on.  Well, they kept everything exactly the same, right to Lucian grabbing the necklace and jumping out the window.  I was impressed.

So for the die hard Underworld fans, this is a must see.  I really couldn't find anything wrong with this one.  5/5!
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More Underworld: Rise of the Lycans reviews
Quick Tip by . July 09, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
not as good as the rest of the underworld movies, but still worth the watch. you get the background of the lycans and the vampire royality. it makes the whole story come togeather really nicely.
review by . January 26, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Rhona Mitra as Sonja
      First off, let me just say that I am a fan of the "Underworld" franchise and I do think that Kate Beckinsale is one of the most beautiful women on the planet. Plus, I am also a sucker for tales about vampires and werewolves. That said, this newest installment of the franchise "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans" doesn't have the previous two films' director, (although Len Wiseman still has credits for the story) and the absence of Beckinsale is …
review by . December 03, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
You know Hollywood is running out of fresh ideas when they start making movies that mix and match old ideas together hoping for a hit. The best example of this is in the horror - action genre where the trend of the decade is making movies featuring both vampires and werewolves. So far, the two biggest franchises in this theme are Underworld and Twilight. The latter is for teenage girls, while the former is better suited for everyone older. The Underworld trilogy ends with this movie, starring Rhona …
review by . March 07, 2009
Well I haven't seen the other two Underworld movies, but thought that with this being a prequel it would probably be better that I start with this anyway. I've heard such good things about this series which gave me really high hopes, but how disappointed was I to see it be a corny, ridiculous and quite shallow film. I was hoping for a bit of the sexy Kate Beckinsale which seems like one of the main selling points of the prior two movies, but alas it was not meant to be.      The …
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Julian Brown ()
Ranked #33
Hi, my name is Julian Brown. I currently write for The Brotherly Game, a local Philadelphia soccer website where I cover the US Women's National Team and the local WPS Philadelphia Independence. I … more
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This prequel to Len Wiseman’s UnderworldandUnderworld: Evolution is distinctively different, especially minus the nimble vampire warrior star, Selene (Kate Beckinsale). Underworld: Rise of the Lycans takes its cues from the vampire/werewolf battles that occur in the other films, but director Patrick Tatopoulos focuses here on the young werewolf Lucian's (Michael Sheen) rise to leadership. Rise of the Lycans is set mostly within the walls of vampire lord Viktor’s (Bill Nighy) castle, so the film’s silver, black, and blue palette reflects a world happening under moonlight. From the outset, when Viktor brings Lucian, the first werewolf, into the world, this villainous bloodsucker’s daughter, Sonja (Rhona Mitra), is smitten with Lucian’s hairy appearance and instinctual intelligence. As years pass, Lucian grows tired of watching his race suffer slavery and imprisonment, and recruits a human named Raze (Kevin Grevioux) to assist rebellion. This archetypal plot is not so riveting, and what carries Underworld: Rise of the Lycans are the battle scenes between vampires and werewolves, which are excitingly fast-paced and brutal. The whole film adopts a medieval battlefield aesthetic that carries an otherwise clichéd story about illicit love and freedom fighting. Some characters, like the traitor vampire Tannis (Steven Mackintosh), also intrigues throughout, as one guesses who he will ally with.Underworld: Rise of the Lycans may not be the ...
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Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: January 23, 2009
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: May 12, 2009
Runtime: 92 minutes
Studio: Sony Pictures, Screen Gems
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