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Overall Rating
2.75

Awesome: 11.8%
Worth A Look: 19.88%
Just Average22.98%
Pretty Crappy: 22.36%
Sucks22.98%

8 reviews, 113 user ratings


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Underworld
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by Peter Sobczynski

"Selene And Wolf-Boy Go Bouting"
1 stars

If you had asked me if I would have any interest in seeing a movie featuring werewolves, vampires and Kate Beckinsale wearing a tight leather catsuit, my response would have been some variation on the phrase "Hell, yeah". In fact, if you were to ask me that same question right now, I would probably still answer in the affirmative, as long as I could be assured that the film in question would be anything other than "Underworld", an idiotic new action-horror film that squanders such a promising combination of elements in a story that is impenetrable, dull and which contains more holes than the defensive line of the Chicago Bears (though it is never as scary as the latter)

The central idea of the film is that werewolves and vampires have been waging a war against each other for centuries that has gone unnoticed by man. However, hundreds of years of combat with crucifixes and wolfsbane has apparently grown tiresome because as the film begins, we see that the two groups now prefer to kill each other via elaborate gun battles in full view of the public (with a few modifications-the werewolves have bullets containing ultraviolet light and the vampires respond with ammo filled with silver nitrate). After watching the seemingly endless gunplay, I had only two questions. First, why exactly are the two groups blowing the hell out of each other in public when it is supposed to be a secret war? Second, how did vampires and werewolves do battle in the decades before "The Matrix" showed them how cool they would look firing machine guns while performing aerodynamically impossible flips through the air?

Anyway, Selene (Kate Beckinsale), a vampiric "death-dealer" notices during the battle that the werewolves seem to be fixated on a seemingly normal human, Michael (Scott Speedman) and decides to follow him to find out why the werewolves want him. This upsets Kraven (Shane Brolly), the vampire who is currently filling in as leader of their clan while the true head, Viktor (Bill Nighy) rests underground, to no end and he begins plotting against Selene. It turns out that Kraven is in cahoots with Lucian (Michael Sheen), the werewolf leader that he supposedly killed hundreds of years earlier. Michaelís blood, it turns out, contains secrets that, in the wrong hands, will allow Kraven to become all-powerful and take over a.) the clan and b.) the world. Memo to all vampire leaders planning to cede power to an underling before an extended rest-just to be on the safe side, donít pick the guy named Kraven. (Were Backstabber and Usurper too busy to put their hats in the ring for the job?)

The plot is absurd, of course, but in a film like this, the story doesnít matter as long as it is told with style and energy. Sadly, these are elements sorely lacking in "Underworld", which runs roughshod over traditional supernatural lore yet it can never keep its own inventions straight. At one point, for example, we learn that someone is bitten by a vampire or a werewolf, all of the memories of the biter are transferred to the bitee. If this is true (and I will admit that the explanation of this was so rushed and muffled that I might have missed something), then shouldnít Selene have figured out the shocking secret about her past long before someone just tells it to her? Matters arenít helped by director Len Wisemanís decision to shoot everything either in a murky half-light (even in a hospital, which would theoretically be well-lit) or in a rainstorm, which turns the act of simply watching the images into a mighty chore. (I shudder to think what this film would look like in a theater where they lower the light levels on the projector to save on the cost of bulbs.)

None of the actors seems to be having any fun with the material-they all look bored and slightly embarrassed. The worst offender by far is Beckinsale, who can be an appealing actress in the right role (like in the not-that-bad "Serendipity"). However, while she has the pale, listless look down (and she does look great in that catsuit), she does not look like anyoneís idea of what a "death-dealer" might be. Even in a fantasy like this, it is difficult to believe such physical derring-do coming from someone who looks like they might, with the aid of an adrenaline rush, just be able to snap a breadstick in two. The only actor who seems to appreciate the goofiness of the premise is Nighy, who spends his first post-resurrection scene doing what seems to be a surreal riff on Brandoís Col. Kurtz.

The most disappointing aspect about "Underworld" is that it fails to come up with any new or interesting ideas about the look and behavior of vampires and werewolves. Once again, vampires are portrayed as glamorous Eurotrash who glide through ornate mansions in fancy dress and all the women are, of course, impossibly gorgeous creatures with heaving bosoms. Werewolves, on the other hand, are dumb feral beasts who spend their hours hanging out at lycanthropic Fight Clubs and their scraggly hair is anything but perfect. (Some movies make you want to hurl popcorn at the screen; this time, I wanted to throw a bottle of conditioner.) Furthermore, while the vampires are portrayed as vaguely heroic people who never do anything unpleasant to humans (like drinking their blood), the wolves are seen as violent bloodthirsty monsters ready to kill humans on a whim. Where is the Werewolf Anti-Defamation League when you need them?

This review was originally seen at the Website That Shall Not Be Named and has been reprinted here with nobody's permission but my own. Hope you enjoyed it.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=8166&reviewer=389
originally posted: 01/23/09 18:21:50
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User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell boring & overrated 1 stars
4/01/12 Cr a cool action/horror movie with vampires vs werewolves, good effects and leads are good. 3 stars
12/21/10 Josie Cotton is a goddess You'll enjoy it while watching it, but you'll forget about it afterword 3 stars
7/03/10 art THIS MAKES you FORGET about TWILIGHT! 4 stars
5/07/09 true Really liked it, a good vampire movie. Lots of action, lead actress very hot. 4 stars
3/21/09 james obrien beutiful kate 5 stars
3/08/09 Linda Diaz Guilty Pleasures sexy vamps and hunky wolves! 5 stars
3/01/09 Ira Awesome backstory. OK character design. The acting killed it. 2 stars
2/05/09 Alejandro Sosa The action is what made the movie some what enjoyable! 3 stars
1/31/09 MIng I love all the underworld movie, however this one is a little below the others 3 stars
1/23/09 David Tried to be badass but failed. 2 stars
8/28/08 Shaun Wallner Bloody Awesome!!! 5 stars
8/06/07 ravenmad I like the dark stuff, Kate made it great! Without her: awful. I like women that kick ass! 4 stars
7/16/07 MaDmAN Kate is beautiful!! But this has got to be one of the most boring, depressing movies ever! 3 stars
12/26/06 RoBeRt rObErTsOn I USUALLY WOULDN'T JACK OFF TO THIS... OK, OKAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY ONLY ONCE 2 stars
12/02/06 RazorFang I had no problem following this movie and I missed part of it.Unrated version is better. 4 stars
10/29/06 AJ Muller Kate rocked it and the action/FX were solid but it should have been WAY better. 3 stars
9/19/06 Pritchett All in all I thought it was pretty lame. 2 stars
8/19/06 Beau i agree, repetitive fight scenes, a bit boring, but good storyline plot 3 stars
8/08/06 Dragon The Artist 3 words, DISSAPIONTING, NERDY,CRAPFEST.Too futuristic, really boring time waster!! 1 stars
5/16/06 Taylor I think this movie is the best ever! 5 stars
4/23/06 Annie The Matrix meets Van Helsing is the best description yet! 3 stars
3/09/06 Dk Matrix meets Van Helsing and thats a cool combination 4 stars
2/23/06 ES Liked it, necessary to enjoy the UW evolutions 4 stars
2/16/06 Galliwertz A one-way ticket to DULLSVILLE! ALMOST as bad as QUEEN OF THEM DUMB. 1 stars
2/09/06 Carolyn Rathburn love it, dark, vampires, werewolves, bloodlust, great movie 5 stars
2/07/06 FritztheCat Easily one of the dullest, most pretentious "action" films I've ever sat through. 1 stars
1/28/06 CthulhuFhtagn This is one super-lame film for super-lame people. 1 stars
1/25/06 jeff repetitive fight scenes, bad acting, boring. 1 stars
1/24/06 Runaway Stiff, boring, redundant, incoherent, silly, dull, uninteresting, bland, dumb, pandering... 1 stars
1/22/06 Noodle I agree, for the very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, VERY easily entertained. 1 stars
1/21/06 Simon For the easily entertained. It's really just cool/good (kate)-looking stuff and "nonsense". 3 stars
1/20/06 SoHo I never thought a movie about vampire vs. werewolves could be so BORING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
1/19/06 Sumixam Better than most make it out to be 4 stars
11/13/05 Indrid Cold Average at best; even Blade did this type of thing much better. 3 stars
10/23/05 Raul Valdez Great movie you people need to stop bugging. 5 stars
10/21/05 Jack I've seen Total Crap and this is not Total Crap . . . but almost. 3 stars
8/17/05 ES A good lead in whenever they start to produce world of darkness movies, but yikes bad actin 4 stars
7/21/05 Jordan Okay This Movie rocks I love camps n lycans DEC 2 05 Underworld Evolution!!!!!!!!!!!!yay!! 5 stars
7/13/05 Sully Kate can suck my blood anytime.... 4 stars
3/11/05 Gray all my friends agreed this movie was shit 1 stars
1/29/05 enzeru interesting how it shows both perspectives (vamp/lycan), just don't expect another Matrix 4 stars
1/26/05 JesseL One of the better vampire flicks ever. Love Beckinsale. 5 stars
1/12/05 Tom Benton Dark, stylish, underrated movie in the tradition of "Blade". Very cool. 4 stars
12/10/04 Gray sucked ass 1 stars
12/08/04 Kristina Williams after that GORGEOUS opening shot, it all goes to hell 1 stars
9/02/04 Steve Newman Dissapointed with general acting - special effects are good 4 stars
8/01/04 Raf Milis The beginning is pretty good, but the end?? come on..i've seen this a thousand times.... 2 stars
7/12/04 Dave C Short and sweet: I enjoyed it. Sure it's flawed as many movies are, but I enjoyed it still. 4 stars
6/05/04 Carmen THIS MOVIE WAS THE BOMB AND I LOVE IT SO MUCH 5 stars
5/04/04 gray me and my friends laughed outloud towards the end really vamp/werewolf? :) 1 stars
4/11/04 stryper rocks Selene's a cool chick....smart, relentless, dark, and deadly with those silver bullets 5 stars
3/24/04 Erica Thornton well-paced, interesting premise 4 stars
3/18/04 rachel burke lots of action worth a look 4 stars
3/17/04 Maria I liked the show..but it defitanly was missing something! 3 stars
3/16/04 Alfred Guy It was ok, mostly tepid. Been there, saw that. 3 stars
3/16/04 alex considering it was stolen from some unknown book series... it wasn't that bad 3 stars
3/12/04 Jack Bourbon It really wasn't that bad, which was nothing short of miraculous considering the trailer 3 stars
3/11/04 jdogg "visually stunning"="worth a look"?? No thinking here, thank you...we prefer to just stare. 1 stars
2/08/04 Whatevr Worth watching at least once 4 stars
2/04/04 Ingo Mediocre mixture of 'hip' ingredients. 3 stars
2/04/04 Dave Nice 4 stars
2/04/04 Joy Visually stunning. . 4 stars
2/03/04 Sammy This movie was the best I've seen in a while. The special effects were awesome!! 5 stars
1/27/04 jasarco wanna c it again 4 stars
1/26/04 Chloe Brody Here's a nice piece of shit 1 stars
1/26/04 Samuel if you've never saw either of the "Blade" movies watch one of them instead they are better 3 stars
1/25/04 u sexay thing f...u. 5 stars
1/22/04 Betty White Considering the great visual effects, you'd expect much better. 2 stars
1/22/04 Tom Cruise At least this is a lead character I'm taller than... pity I can't outact her. 1 stars
1/17/04 Cheerleader who ran out of TP&has to wipe her ass with her pompoms Firmly in a tradition of making bad vampire flicks seem "a dime a dozen". 1 stars
1/13/04 Tiffany Faye Hawthorne Can't be taken seriously, but doesn't make it as a spoof either. 1 stars
1/12/04 George Hill A movie that has everything I expected 5 stars
1/07/04 JJ Not as bad as it is amateurish and cliche ridden... 2 stars
1/07/04 KICK ASS OR DONT COME HOME! this movie is for only ppl in the goth and D&D scene 4 stars
1/05/04 tricky dick The title of this lame assed shit should be THE BLATRIX!!! 1 stars
1/02/04 A F Pretty Crappy. 2 stars
11/27/03 John noisy confused shallow and childish...sorry this one is only for die hard fans of the genre 2 stars
10/16/03 Josh Standlee A fast-paced masterpiece that should never be forgotten! 5 stars
10/14/03 Jeff Marc A rip off of the DARK HORSE comic OUT FOR BLOOD only WORSE! 1 stars
10/10/03 Gary AWESOME 5 stars
10/05/03 Kitty Confusing, Boring, Weird looking chick in leather - 'nuff said. 1 stars
10/04/03 Worthy Slacker Poorly shot shootouts/action scenes cut to rapidly. Variation of Rome & Juliet story. 3 stars
10/03/03 Randy J Redmond It sucked ass! I walked out after the quick silver bullets! 1 stars
10/01/03 Peace Frog Eeon's a piece of shit at best...may he get AIDS from his own father....tool 1 stars
9/29/03 Eeon Not bad. 4 stars
9/29/03 great pumpkin i liked when the guy was all green and those blood tubes coming out 3 stars
9/28/03 Renegade Bushido Give the guy who played Kraven an Academy Award! (sarcasm) 3 stars
9/26/03 NoRefill Could have been so much more. Boring at times, interesting at others. 3 stars
9/24/03 Billy Bob Fun movie, lots of action. Could use a bit more explanation of plot, but overall a good fl 4 stars
9/23/03 malcolm waaaay better than T3 and Matrix: Reloaded 4 stars
9/23/03 Obi Wan Good fun and no A-List actors to ruin the flick. 4 stars
9/23/03 KingNeutron VAMPIRES DONT REFLECT - but otherwise 2 GREAT plot twists 3 stars
9/22/03 Eric S. Is it OK if I enjoyed this movie, even while recognizing its flaws? 4 stars
9/22/03 Chrys Is anyone ever gonna wise up to how very vapid and talentless kate beckinsale is? 1 stars
9/22/03 krystin it was actually pretty good...I was surprised 4 stars
9/22/03 Gray 1000 bullet guns+lame "guy who's a vampire/werewolf " =laughably bad movie 1 stars
9/22/03 LoudChris Fun creature flick with great sets. Kate performs well and looks great. 4 stars
9/22/03 Timmy Better than Blade 5 stars
9/21/03 The F-Bomb too fucking loud with no fucking story.kate's hot, though 3 stars
9/20/03 Randy Muselman Could have cut about 20 minutes from the film. Seem more of a cross between Blade & Matrix 3 stars
9/20/03 David How can you reduce Vampires and Lycans to cardboard hollywood guntoters? 2 stars
9/20/03 syrius What's up with the bad acting and infinite ammo?! 2 stars
9/20/03 Oksana Good characters, lots of promise, need stronger storyline. Like Michael and Selene, 4 stars
9/20/03 wesley cox complaint- like matrix 1 person shoots and hit 20 people who are shooting at the 1 person 4 stars
9/20/03 Vicious When will anyone ever do werewolves right? And i hate vampires. 2 stars
9/20/03 Lord Chu There could be more heads being chopped off, but overall? Pretty good. 4 stars
9/19/03 michaelb14 Could have been much better, still enjoyable though 3 stars
9/19/03 Damon A decent flick for average joe, a good flick for people who like gothic movies 4 stars
9/19/03 Timmy GREAT 5 stars
9/19/03 ludvig the movie was awesome except for all the guns why couldn't they just fight without guns 5 stars
9/19/03 Mr Chan me lika this movie, it real good! 4 stars
9/19/03 Gary best movie ever 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  19-Sep-2003 (PG-13)
  DVD: 10-Jan-2006

UK
  N/A

Australia
  22-Jan-2004


Directed by
  Len Wiseman

Written by
  Danny McBride

Cast
  Kate Beckinsale
  Scott Speedman
  Shane Brolly
  Robby Gee
  Erwin Leder
  Sophia Myles



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