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Overall Rating
2.37

Awesome: 16.52%
Worth A Look: 11.3%
Just Average: 5.22%
Pretty Crappy: 26.09%
Sucks40.87%

8 reviews, 67 user ratings


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Underworld: Evolution
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by brianorndorf

"Potential for a fantasy franchise ruined by foggy filmmaking"
2 stars

“Underworld Evolution” fails to live up to the promise of the 2003 original. Substituting genuine thrills and involving myths with dreary action and an unwise attempt to delve into the history of the Lycan/Vampire battle, this sequel makes all the wrong moves, never finding any sure footing.

Having killed a feared leader in the Vampire world, “Death Dealer” Selene (Kate Beckinsale) is on the run with Michael (Scott Speedman), a hybrid Lycan/Vampire who is coming to terms with his new abilities. In the midst of the mayhem, one of the original Vampires, Marcus (Tony Curran), has been unleashed from his prison and is looking for revenge, hunting down everything in his path. Searching for answers on why Marcus has returned, Selene soon realizes she’s the only one left to confront him, embracing her violent past as she unexpectedly evolves into something new.

“Underworld” was a sleeper hit back in 2003, simply because it took the subject matter seriously and tarted up its B-movie roots with some striking photography and genre enthusiasm. The sequel looks like it was put together in a hurry, which is odd, since the first film teased of a continuation to come. Murky, uneven, and filled with an extravagant, needless backstory that would make Tolkien double take, “Evolution” fails to live up to the promise the original film made.

I’m unconvinced that director Len Wiseman intended this film to be the follow-up story of the “Underworld” saga, if only because the new picture spends so much energy trying to get rid of all the old characters. This is a rickety story, alternating wildly between unbridled Lycan and Vampire action and stultifying exposition scenes, where characters basically look into the camera and explain the plot. The original film gently layered Wiseman’s monster myth with modern thrills, creating a ripe fantasy world for the audience to get lost in. Maybe the twenty-sided-die allure went to his head, because Wiseman has lost all sense of direction with this sequel. The elements he was once careful with, including the plot and the performances, are foggy in “Evolution,” to a point where they start to become secondary to special effects and slo-mo. And when Wiseman is trying to construct a larger scope that goes beyond the simplicity of Selene’s journey, the effects start to become a distraction instead of a crucial part of the experience.

Wiseman even manages to ruin a vital moment for fans of the “Underworld” series: the sex scene between Selene and Michael. Dressed up like a bad softcore Playboy video, and trotting out even more slo-mo to capture every silly moment, Wiseman effectively destroys one of the main selling points of this sequel: the consummation of the romance between the main characters.

There is a thrill in watching an actress as miniature as Beckinsale get to engage in some ruthless fight choreography, which the actress handles very well. The role is a good fit for her, with Wiseman (her real life husband) upping her heroic moments and close-up lighting for the sequel, making her a fierce creature of almost crystalline beauty. As predicted, Beckinsale is a good focal point to have since the rest of the cast fumbles about trying to act like the repetitive script means something to them.

Having enjoyed “Underworld” so much, and hoping a lousy sequel wouldn’t soil its promise, “Evolution” comes a major disappointment. Wiseman plays his cards all wrong here, emphasizing the action and history instead of concentrating on the mixture of monsters and myth that seemed so effortless before.

Expectedly, “Evolution” ends with a promise that future adventures await Selene. I hope Wiseman can correct the serious mistakes this sequel makes and get this franchise back on track.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=13771&reviewer=404
originally posted: 01/20/06 04:03:36
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User Comments

4/01/12 Cr a soild sequel with lots of action, suspense, and good acting. kate is awesome! 4 stars
4/22/11 man yawn 1 stars
4/08/11 Annoymous Took About Bad Acting and neither Derek Jacobi can't save this film 1 stars
1/27/08 Alan Disappointing, a sequence of chases and gory battles, but wiht no tension and little sense. 2 stars
9/14/07 dude boring 1 stars
7/21/07 Rebecca It's really not as bad as the detractors make out. Complexity is a good thing. 5 stars
7/15/07 tweener Awesome... sex scene is a bit much for youngens, but kate looks great and plenty of action 5 stars
5/28/07 Rrahn I liked it very much!!! Some people should respect other opinions... 5 stars
5/07/07 Charles Tatum Another sequel that no one asked for 3 stars
2/06/07 AJ Muller Needlessly complex yet still stupid; decent action, though, and more fun than the first. 3 stars
1/27/07 khatukz the hell i care about what other people say,i liked the movie,no! I loved the movie!!! 5 stars
1/04/07 del I don't ever want to meet the fans of these movies. 1 stars
11/25/06 Tess i loved all Kates move!,,,but hated the blood-sheds. 2 stars
11/19/06 money911$$$$$$$ loved the movie kate beckinsale is hotter than hell and i loveed all the action 5 stars
10/05/06 Peachygirl Who cares about the movie? It had Tony Curran in it -- he made the movie worthwhile. 4 stars
9/19/06 Pritchett The first was lame, this was lamer. 1 stars
9/04/06 Ana Kile Amazing. Good effects. Good acting. Good story telling. Requirement: Some intelligence. 5 stars
8/08/06 Dragon The Artist The only things that need to evolve is the acting & the video gamey concept!! 1 stars
8/07/06 sterling joseph roberson i love so much 5 stars
7/23/06 Jim Better and more epic than the first, and about five times gorier. Michael, move your arm! 4 stars
6/12/06 Paul Schem 5 stars
4/10/06 mohan action , pretty good speical effects and hot,sexy kate 4 stars
3/29/06 fuzzl10 kate beckinsale manages to pull off the girl action heroine, a feat few women can do 5 stars
3/10/06 Sumixam It was entertaining for a fan of the 1st 5 stars
2/28/06 dfd good movie but the first was better 4 stars
2/24/06 PAG Pretty good flick. Better than the first. 4 stars
2/21/06 Leia Easily one of the dumbest movies I've ever seen. 1 stars
2/20/06 riddsy good film 4 stars
2/16/06 Soha Molina bad 1 stars
2/16/06 Galliwertz Even lamer than the first, if you can imagine that. 1 stars
2/15/06 ES Excellent, if you enjoyed the first you'll love the 2nd 5 stars
2/10/06 Mike How disappointing. Good first, totally confused second film. How often can Michael die? 2 stars
2/07/06 FritztheCat I thought this movie was such divine poop in a can...just like the first. 1 stars
2/03/06 CD crap 1 stars
1/31/06 Jonathon its crap.....but it's better than the other crap out there 3 stars
1/30/06 Gungywamp Even lamer than the original lame-fest... 1 stars
1/29/06 lee Boring 1 stars
1/28/06 CthulhuFhtagn Very poor sequel to a very poor film...why are we shocked? 1 stars
1/27/06 Stimpy of DOTs I really enjoyed this movie, 4 stars
1/27/06 Jeebuzz ...and here I was thinking that the FIRST one sucked ass...WHOAH!!!!!!!! 1 stars
1/26/06 Ole Man Bourbon Sure, it's crap. But it's not as bad as a lot of other crap. Whatever that means. 2 stars
1/26/06 Popem UNDERWORLD is a movie morons always seem to like...what gives??? 1 stars
1/25/06 Jeff Paulin it was a good action movie worth a look 4 stars
1/24/06 Anus I fell asleep while watching this. That's bad, right? TRIUMPH : UNDERWEAR REVOLUTION 1 stars
1/24/06 Runaway Hey! Some loser guy's old loser wife liked it! That MUST mean it's good!!! 1 stars
1/24/06 Lighten-up It's not that bad! It's enjoyable for what it is. My 40yr old wife loves it. 3 stars
1/23/06 K-2 You are all losers for liking this garbage...but we already knew that, didn't we? 1 stars
1/23/06 Paul Critics really have NO lives. RELAX! This movie was good! FUN! Kate you are perfect. 4 stars
1/23/06 Michael Loved it. don't listen to critics. Listen to regular people 4 stars
1/23/06 Chip It was alright. The first one had a better storyline though. 4 stars
1/22/06 LoveTrash This movie ROCKED (worthy of several viewings, unlike other blockbusters) 5 stars
1/22/06 Blutarsky Nowhere near as bad as made out here. Bah. 4 stars
1/22/06 The Talking Elbow Proof that film reviewers should be taken with a grain of salt: I had no problems with UE. 5 stars
1/22/06 JK This sequel was incredible! I loved it. Kate kicked more ass than she did in the original! 5 stars
1/22/06 Zordude I enjoyed it. 5 stars
1/22/06 bluseed This movie rocks!!! and so did Kate! 5 stars
1/22/06 Noodle The same dull people who liked the crappy first will like this second helping of shit, too! 1 stars
1/21/06 Ton I enjoyed this movie! Don't watch it if you don't like vampires. 5 stars
1/21/06 Jessi I think it was a great film and even better than the first! 5 stars
1/21/06 Evil Wolfie Loved the first - This one not so much 3 stars
1/21/06 NoRefill Just really boring. Liked this one even less than the first one. 2 stars
1/21/06 Flyboy Dare I say even more boring than the first...I didn't think that was possible. 1 stars
1/21/06 asme cool!!!!!! yah.... 3 stars
1/20/06 SoHo More trash for the January dumping ground! WAY worse than the original turd!!!! 1 stars
1/20/06 Chappy I hated the original, WHY did I think this one would be any better???? Aaaaargggggh!!!!!!! 1 stars
1/20/06 malcolm how could a film w/beckinsale naked, vampires, werewolves, graphic violence be so BORING? 2 stars
1/20/06 BrianWilly Surprisingly fun and entertaining. Better than the first. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  20-Jan-2006 (R)
  DVD: 06-Jun-2006

UK
  20-Jan-2006

Australia
  19-Jan-2006


Directed by
  Len Wiseman

Written by
  Danny McBride

Cast
  Kate Beckinsale
  Scott Speedman
  Tony Curran
  Derek Jacobi
  Bill Nighy
  Michael Sheen



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