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Film Review: ‘Underworld Evolution’ sucks and bites – in a bad way

Underworld Evolution

3 out of 10
Underworld Evolution (2005)
NO SPOILERS

Every so often a stylish little film comes out of nowhere and becomes a cult hit. That happened in the fall of 2003 when a lower budget vampire and werewolf movie called Underworld opened in theatres. To almost everyone’s surprise, it was the top movie of the weekend and went on to attract a sizable audience and made a handsome profit for the studio.

The film was full of chemistry. A mixture of nihilistic sexiness not seen since 1983 when Catherine Deneuve, David Bowie and Susan Sarandon steamed up the screen with The Hunger, did a vampire film get so much attention in fandom.

After the debut, fans were pleased to hear that both a sequel and prequel were already written for Underworld. Sony, the studio in charge of the film, set December 2005 as the debut for the new film.

But things started to go sour. First, Sony moved the debut of Underworld Evolution, as the sequel was named, out of the prime holiday season. Second, when the film finally did debut on the weekend of January 20, 2006 – the studio refused to pre-screen the film to critics.

That is usually a bad sign. It usually means that studio honchos are afraid of bad word of mouth since they think the film is poor quality and do not want to take a ribbing from critics.

Well, I’m breaking out the ribs.

Underworld Evolution is one of those sequels like Jaws 2 or the Matrix sequels that leaves many fans befuddled and annoyed. Like those films, this movie achieves the rare and dubious honor of making the original film appear less special in hindsight.

Quite frankly it is a movie that should never have been made.

The special effects are sub-par, the story is predictable and boring and the acting talents of the talented cast are wasted since it seems the studio was more interested in showing the scenery and action than any emotional depth or character development.

If you like the Underworld mythos and world of the original movie and want to get more of it. I suggest skipping Underworld Evolution the movie, and instead head over to your local bookstore and buy the novelization by Greg Cox.

The book costs less than a movie ticket, lasts longer and is better written.


RATINGS
Overall: 3 out of 10
MPAA Rating: R
Genre:Dark Fantasy
Sex: Minimal.
Violence: Fantasy violence. Graphic depictions of death.
Special Effects: Average

CAST
Kate Beckinsale … Selene
Scott Speedman … Michael Corvin
Tony Curran … Marcus
Derek Jacobi … Corvinus
Bill Nighy … Viktor
Steven Mackintosh … Tanis
Shane Brolly … Kraven
Brian Steele … William
Zita Görög … Amelia
Scott McElroy … Soren
John Mann … Samuel
Michael Sheen … Lucian

David Speakman

David Speakman has spent more than two decades as a writer/editor, photographer, graphic designer and manager of creative teams in broadcast, print and the Internet. His education is in journalism, graphic design, organizational communication and law.
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