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Overall Rating

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

8 reviews, 113 user ratings

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by David Cornelius

"Imagine 'Goth Talk: The Movie.' Only worse."
1 stars

The first thing I ask while watching “Underworld” is: what in the world is Kate Beckinsale, chick flick star of “Serendipity,” “Much Ado About Nothing,” and “Pearl Harbor,” doing shooting off guns in a loud, preposterous goth actioner about vampires and werewolves? The second question I ask is: why would anyone want to see a movie written by two stuntmen and an art director, none of whom have written a script before?

I can guess that the answer to the first question has something to do with a movie star’s desire to let loose in some dumbass shoot-’em-up, and so despite being horribly miscast, Beckinsale does her best to bring some dignity to a remarkably stupid movie, and she winds up being the best thing about the film. But as to that second question, I can only assume that the producers heard the phrase “vampires vs. werewolves, but with guns and Matrix-y trenchcoats” and rushed to buy the idea, making the mistake of not reading the script first.

After all, it is a pretty cool idea. However sloppily the script presents it, the notion of a thousand-year war between two monster clans evolving to now include liquid silver bullets and ultraviolet “sunlight” ammo is fairly sweet. But there’s always that “sloppily” part.

Let me try to get through the plot as best I can. Beckinsale plays Selene, an ancient vampire who works as a “death dealer,” hunting down werewolves - I’m sorry, “lycans,” as the movie pretentiously demands they be called - one by one and offing them, all in part of that aforementioned thousand-year war. As the story begins, she witnesses a shoot-out between the two camps in a subway station (the film takes place in a generic, rainy European city, which I’ll call Gothberg); more importantly, she notes how them lycans have been hunting a human, the extremely dopey Michael (the extremely dopey Scott Speedman).

She later manages to track down Michael and rescue him, but not before he’s bitten by Lucian (Michael Sheen), the werewolf leader. Her helping this human - especially one that’s about to turn into a werewolf - doesn’t sit well with Kraven (the remarkably awful Shane Brolly), vamp leader who looks a bit like that guy from Creed and who has the misfortune of getting most of the script’s worst dialogue. (Kraven actually says “Blast!” as an interjection. Wow.) Oh, and unlike the rest of the vamps, Kraven doesn’t have to bother with a crappy European accent, because, I suppose, he’s the leader.

Only he’s not the leader. You see, the vampires keep their leaders in some sort of hibernation, locked away in the floors of a vault to decompose or sleep or whatever. The idea is that every few hundred years, a new leader will be resurrected, while the other two sleep. How this helps with their immortality is beyond me. Anyway, instead of awakening the leader that’s supposed to be awakened, Selene awakens the big cheese, the head honcho, the Vampire King himself, some wrinkly dude named Viktor (Bill Nighy), in the hopes of telling him how Kraven may be in cahoots with Lucian.

And what of the werewolves? Well, the screenplay doesn’t really know how to balance the retooled vampire legend, the Selene-Michael relationship, the action sequences, and the retooled werewolf legend, so the werewolves take the backseat for most of the film, appearing only to bump the plot ahead just a tad. There’s something about the werewolves doing genetic research, and something about that research’s link to Michael, but for the most part, the werewolves are little more than unformed monster characters.

(Side note: We learn that silver bullets work because all werewolves are allergic to silver. But which forms of silver, and in what amounts? How do they handle silver coins? What about silverware? “Silverado?” Veteran actor Ron Silver?)

As tossaway characters, however, the werewolves get it easy. The vamps, you see, get stuck in a world of total artsy-fartsiness, as if the vampire society was created by and for people who love “The Crow,” Anne Rice novels, and old Ministry albums. “Underworld” is afloat in a sea of silly accents, candelabrums, and too much eyeliner. It’s a movie for people who think vampires are really, really, really cool, only because they get to live in castles and stay up late and listen to Nine Inch Nails and dye their hair black and have European accents and brood.

Then there are the endless “Matrix” moments, lots of slo-mo trenchcoat blowing and bullet dodging. In other words, this movie’s tailor-made for that sweaty goth dude down the hall who thinks “Equilibrium” was hot stuff. I wouldn’t recommend spending two hours with that dude, and I wouldn’t recommend spending two hours with this movie, either.

Oh, but what of that screenplay, crafted by those stuntmen and that art director? Well, stuntman/actor Danny McBride gets sole screenplay credit, working from a story by himself, stuntman Kevin Grevioux, and Len Wiseman, the art director from “Stargate” who’s making his directorial debut here. The result is a script that reads like fan fiction written by a group of old buddies who happen to be hardcore “Forever Knight” fans. This is terrible, terrible stuff, from the plotting to the characters to the dialogue, which is downright laughable. (One character actually says, in full sincerity, “What’s the ruckus?”)

I do credit Wiseman for having a good eye for visuals; his previous job sure tought him how to film a nice looking set. And “Underworld” has a whole bunch of great-looking sets - laboratories, castles, and sewer systems that create a strong goth vision. I know this because I had a lot of time to study the backgrounds. The movie was too stupid to care about anything else.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=8166&reviewer=392
originally posted: 01/19/06 17:01:45
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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
12/02/06 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
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
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  19-Sep-2003 (PG-13)
  DVD: 10-Jan-2006



Directed by
  Len Wiseman

Written by
  Danny McBride

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

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