MONKEY REVIEW: Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans

January 31, 2009

underworld3I really had no intention of seeing the latest movie in the Underworld franchise because frankly I liked neither the first movie, Underworld nor its even worse sequel, Underworld: Evolution. The films took an intriguing idea, a centuries old war between vampires and werewolves, and proceeded to develop it in the most commonplace way, despite the presence of actors like Kate Beckinsale, Bill Nighy and Michael Sheen. The end result was a blue tinted Matrix inspired shoot ’em up and a big disappoinment all around, all style and pretty much no worthwhile substance. Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans is a prequel to the aforementioned films, and aims to show the beginning of the war between the vampires and the werewolves, which is framed as a conflict between Viktor (Nighy), leader of the vampires, and Lucian (Sheen), who eventually aims to lead his fellow werewolves, or Lycans, out of the enslavement set upon them by Viktor. To complicate matters even further, Lucian is carrying on a forbidden affair with Sonja (Rhona Mitra), Viktor’s daughter. Basically what you get in Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans are vampires and werewolves in a medieval setting, with swords, arrows and some really big spear launchers, all of which serves the general concept infinitely better than the modern setting of the first two films did. Add some Romeo and Juliet and Exodus elements, some well done CGI effects, a very fast pace and several truly rousing and exciting action sequences and you end up with the kind of movie that I had hoped the first one was going to be in the first place. Is it silly and overwrought sometimes? Sure, but so what? It’s very entertaining and at 92 minutes, it even knows when to quit. Yes, it’s true that fans of the franchise know how the story is going to turn out, so maybe newcomers to the franchise will be the ones to appreciate Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans the most, but I think audiences in general will find this to be a solid horror fantasy. This one is a keeper.


(For a brief explanation of the Monkey Review rating system, click here.)


One Response to “MONKEY REVIEW: Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans”

  1. It was an alright flick.

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