US Release Date: 01-23-2009
Directed by: Patrick Tatopoulos
- Michael Sheen, as
- Bill Nighy, as
- Rhona Mitra, as
- Steven Mackintosh, as
- Kevin Grevioux, as
- Jared Turner as
Instead of collars, the vampires should have kept a better supply of milkbones.
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans is one of those bad films that can still entertain. It has enough action and gore to keep your interest even when the plot makes little sense.
This prequel to the Underworld series shows us Viktor as the leader of the ancient, yet extraordinarily weak vampire brood. They live in an old fortress in the middle of a forest, in which live hundreds of werewolves. They have a collar that when put on Lycans, stops them from turning into a wolf. The vampires then use the collared Lycans as slaves and guards. One such Lycan, Lucien, is secretly having an affair with Viktors daughter Sonja. You can just guess what their favorite sexual position is. Sonja helps Lucien escape and before you know it, the wolves are at the gate in an all out battle.
The vampires here are the weakest blood suckers ever put on screen. They are shown having some extra strength and one vampire bites another once in the neck, but they appear more human than undead. In fact, they rewrite the vampire legend so much that Sonja gets pregnant by Lucien. The only thing remaining of the original Bram Stoker character is that sunlight can kill them. Humans are shown bringing gold and silver to pay tribute to the vampires for them defending them from the werewolves. A job the vampires are very bad at.
If you shut your brain off and just watch the fighting and decapitations, you may enjoy this senseless story. Of course, if you have seen the other Underworld movies you pretty much know what to expect.
This is a long way from Tony Blair.
I was able to enjoy this movie a bit more than you Eric. I do agree that these were some wimpy vampires and the fact that they were vampires was almost irrelevant. Still I was able to just sit back and enjoy enough of it without really thinking very much about it.
The one thing I had a hard time getting past was seeing Michael Sheen, the same guy who played David Frost and Tony Blair, as a tough werewolf leader Lucian. Although to his credit, he is in pretty good shape. Apart form his posh British accent, Lucian bears very little resemblance to either of his more famous roles.
I did miss Kate Beckinsale. Rhona Mitra never matches Kate in looks or style. And the love between Sonja and Lucian is the movie kind of love where you're told they love each other but are given very little reason or proof of it onscreen. Except for their one scene of lovemaking there's very little spark or chemistry between the two leads.
I wouldn't say this is bad, but it is definitely a B-movie, albeit an enjoyable one.
Photos © Copyright Screen Gems (2009)