north americaeurope
 
 
 
   
  in brief
underworld
director:
  len wiseman
starring:
  kate beckinsale, scott speedman
the good: it has vampires, and it has werewolves. and they fight each other.
 
the bad: that's about all it has. the rest of the movie is an excercise in wasted potential.
we say:
5.5
 
 
 
in depth

It had such a cool look to it, didn't it? After reading a few reviews on the movie I decided to go see it; after all it is a Vampire/Werewolf movie, I mean how could you go wrong with that? (*cough* 'From Dusk Till Dawn' *cough*). With its promises of action and just general coolness, Underworld was a let-down. It was not, as some have said, a rip-off of the Matrix in any way.

There was the promise of a good plot. I couldn't find it. The movie starts off awfully slowly, I wasn't sure what in the world was going on until about halfway through the movie. When I found out, I stared at the ceiling blindly , thinking 'wow, was that all?' Here I'll spare you and give a synopsis. The vampires are the elite ruling class, complete with large mansions and wine glasses of blood. The werewolves are the lowly dog-like class, slaves in fact at one point, to the vampires. These underdogs are fighting for equality while the upper class tries to play at politics. All the while there is one woman, Selene (played by Kate Beckinsale), who feels there is something amiss in the world. The story tends to follow her around, rebelling against thousands of years of tradition and breaking vampire laws in order to prove her theory.

The one redeeming thing is the fight scenes -- just kidding -- if they did copy The Matrix perhaps it would have been redeeming. Forget everything you knew about vampires: according to Len Wiseman, they are, quite simply, pussies. The vampires have guns that shoot out silver. What else, you ask? That's about it. Oh yes, they can jump from high places and land without dying. Dangerous and scary if you ask me. The werewolves have it a little better: they can run along the walls with their claws, and have really tough skin. There was mention of special effects in another review elsewhere, "special effects that don't look nowhere near as cheap as the popular CGI" (imdb.com). I saw a woman jump, twice, with the help of pulleys, and it was rather obvious by the shape of her body that she was flung into the air with them. As well, a set of razor blades flying into the body of a werewolf (Don't worry, as deadly as they looked, they barely hurt him). Of course, there was the final fight scene, what movie would be complete without it? I won't give anything away, as if there was much else to tell, but the final being looks fair enough, although he needed a bit less of a pretty-boy look to him. He was what you were finally after in true demon spawn. Except, they never showed it. He could move really fast, so fast in fact that he would be seen in front of you and then the image would cut, he would be nowhere, and then just behind you. No cool materialization, no mirror images, he's just there. It was begging for effects, hell, I was begging for effects. Then there was Viktor, what you really wanted in a vampire: Is that a werewolf breathing on my face, here let me grab him by the neck and rip his arm off, silly pup. The only problem was, the vampires had to resurrect a corpse that was thousands of years old to find a badass among the race. He was dispatched easily enough though, don't worry -- it really wasn't a redeeming quality.

Overall, if you need something to do its worth a rent. In my eyes there was nothing acclaiming about the story or the acting, it was all just average run of the mill movie. This is why it was a letdown; it just had one hoping for a good fantasy movie - just once. It was left wide open for a sequel, which we hope does not happen with its current storyline or director. There was room, about a mansion size room, for improvement. The next installment has the potential to be so much greater, here’s to hoping.

 

reviewed by dragonsworn staff
 
   
  in closing
such a disappointment really. so much promise here, but very little of it is realized. if you like vampires and werewolves, might as well take a peek.