Saturday, 8 August 2015

Cinema & TV: Underworld: Evolution (2006) (December 2011 Review)

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Hello and welcome everyone!

Once more I'm afraid I have to bore you with something some of you have probably read before on my other, now disused, blog, The Lycanthropologist's Werewolf Movie Reviews, which has been incorporated into Werewolf Theory's main page. For that I'm sorry, but, as I probably mentioned before, I'm already working on something new to post. In the meantime, however, I will keep adding old articles from the old Werewolf Theory website, just to gather them all in one place. 

At the same time, I hope that those who haven't read my post on Underworld: Evolution before will enjoy my rambling at least a little :)


Since I am now part of Amazon’s Affiliate program, you can support me by purchasing a copy of your own of Underworld: Evolution from Amazon! Should my analysis and review spark your interest in the movie – or should you want to view it yourself before reading this article – please consider renting or buying it using the link provided next to this message. Simply click on the cover of the movie on the right-hand side and you will be sent to Amazon Videos page for this title. Thank you and enjoy!

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This is a cleaned-up, but otherwise unchanged version of the December 2011 review.

Hello and welcome to another dose of shapeshifting extravaganza!

This time with a bit of delay, but still here, as promised we come back to the Underworld series to take a look at the second instalment in the franchise – Underworld: Evolution. It took three years for the creators of the first movie to film a sequel and whether it turned out good or bad for them, we will see soon enough. Looking at the runtime on my player, I can see that the length of the movie has only shortened by 15 minutes, so I guess we’re in for another long review this time. So let’s not waste any time – welcome to

No animals were harmed during the filming of this movie. Werewolves don’t count.

Summary

Michael and Selene are on the run due to the events of the first movie, while Marcus, the sole surviving elder of the vampire coven, awakens and embarks on his own quest to find out the truth of the past events. In order to do that, he seeks Selene’s blood. At the same time, a secret group of humans is trying to track down Michael. Along the way, little by little we learn more about the events that caused the feud between the vampires and the werewolves and find out what outcome the past actions of the protagonists have in the present and what they lead them to. And that’s more or less all I can say without spoiling the plot.

In-depth Analysis & Synopsis

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… Wait, that’s a whole different story! But this movie also opens up with rolling credits that explain to the viewer the background story of what they’re about to see. You know, in case they didn’t see the first movie, the creators thought it would be a nice idea to summarise its plot in those twenty-or-so lines. And they succeeded. While the credits are rolling, we can hear the sounds of battle in the background and are soon transported to…


SKYRIM! Well… no, not exactly. But the age is rather long past, as we follow the events in the year 1202 A.D. In the very first scene, we see Bill Nighy makes a return as Viktor, however, our happiness is short-lived because he features only in the prologue. We can see Viktor, Amelia and Marcus, two former of whom are already dead in the movie’s main storyline, find a village that has been ravaged by Marcus’ brother William, the first and most powerful Lycan, and his minions. It appears that, in spite of being the first Vampire, Marcus is paradoxically not their current leader, why I do not know, since he bows down to Viktor and his judgment. Has it already been so long that the vampires needed to make a rotation? And even if so, why isn’t Marcus asleep then? Unfortunately, as we continue watching the movie, there are no answers given to my questions.


In this universe, it is so that werewolfism apparently works like undeath in the Warcraft series. Those bitten or even killed for that matter by William and his minions, don’t stay dead but come back to life as werewolves. And they do so very fast. Somebody either mixed up lycanthropy with undeath or – knowingly or not – unearthed a very old belief that has all but got pushed out by modern tendencies that people could come back from death as either vampires or werewolves. This belief stemmed from the fact that even after death human nails and hair keep growing still for a while, which created fear in people’s hearts that the buried ones could indeed be still alive, or rather undead. But as a viewer unversed in werewolf lore, this fact is just served on a plate and we are made to believe it and take it merely as a distinction between the ‘William’ breed of Lycans and the Lycans from the main storyline of the movie. Another thing that differentiates these two types of Lycans is their appearance – the William Lycans are a lot more furry than their modern counterparts, but also, as we learn later on, have no control over their bodies, which makes them mindless blood-thirsty beasts that attack everything in sight, just like their leader and creator, William. For this reason the vampires want to capture William, to prevent him and his minions from destroying further villages. They finally find him in the woods nearby and after a demanding struggle eventually manage to restrain him.


Fluffy fellow, isn’t he? He reminds me of the werewolf in Bad Moon, but that’s a story for another time. Just like his minions, William does not transform back into his human form and does not have any control over himself. Unlike his fellow vampires, Marcus is adamant about William being unharmed, still having feelings for his brother in spite of what he’s become. Viktor, who would rather have William killed, then orders for him to be imprisoned for all eternity.

Thus ends the prologue and we come back to the present where once again, like in the first movie, we are welcomed by Selene’s monologue. I get the feeling that I’d prefer it if the movie had stayed the way it was in the prologue… Again, for those who haven’t seen the first movie, we are given flashbacks to what occurred in it. In 2 minutes she gives us a summary of a 2-hour-long movie and I have to say she does it accurately. Her quest now, as she informs us, is to awaken Marcus from hibernation and explain the situation to him before Kraven, our favourite cardboard character from the first movie gets to murder him while he’s still asleep. Along with Michael, she breaks into a vampire interrogation facility where they find a chained dead Lycan who’s supposedly been dead for weeks, yet shows no signs of decay. Sense? None. Also, Michael remarks that he thought Lycans came back to their human forms after death, which Selene agrees to, which is another piece of bullshit right at the start of the movie, because nothing in the previous film showed us any proof they did – every fallen Lycan stayed in their werewolf form and did not change back. Great, 10 minutes into the movie and the plot’s already  inconsistent…

When Selene restocks on weaponry to return to the vampire mansion, Kraven is already there and orders his men to lift the coffin in which Marcus is supposedly sleeping. Much to his disappointment, however, they find it empty as Marcus has already been awakened by the Lycan doctor’s blood.


Oh look, it’s batman! I mean, man-bat… In this form, Marcus erupts from underground and kills off Kraven’s men one by one. Conveniently aware of everything that happened during the events of the first movie due to the blood memory plot point, Marcus does us a favour and disposes of Kraven by slicing his head off. A mediocre end of a mediocre character.

A quarrel between Selene and Michael whether he stays or goes with her after, we are introduced to a third party that plays a more significant role than Michael in the former movie – humans. On their ship at sea, quite luxurious at that, lands a helicopter with a team that then gives a recount of what happened in the first movies from another perspective to their elderly leader who as of yet we don’t know much. It is explained that the witnesses of the underground shoot-out from the beginning of the first movie have been ‘silenced but otherwise unharmed’ (in a way that is not explained). So we needed to wait 3 years for the second movie to clear up plot holes from the first movie. Yeah. The team also appears to have recovered Viktor’s body from the scene of the first movie’s finale, for what purpose we don’t yet know. Also from their report we learn that the awakened Marcus has destroyed the coven and the mansion. So I guess Selene will be confronted with a rather unpleasant surprise when she finds it on fire.

We then see that Marcus has gone on a sight-seeing trip around the city (whose name or location we still don’t know!) to places from the first movie, whether to better understand the memories that have been passed to him or not I can’t tell.

Subsequently, we learn that the human team recovered not only Viktor’s body, but apparently all of the bodies, including that of Lucian and Amelia. The leader of the humans seems distressed when he finds that the amulet Lucian was wearing around his neck is gone and goes on to examine Viktor’s body. From under Viktor’s skin, he extracts an object which looks a bit like a fancy ashtray made of gold, but which resembles something that would very well fit together with Lucian’s amulet. We all like puzzles, right? Especially ones whose parts are hidden away in bodies. Jigsaw would be proud.

Back at the safe house, Michael is having a moral dilemma whether or not to drink artificial blood in order to sustain himself since Selene told him that normal food could prove lethal to him since he’s a hybrid and nobody knows how his body will react. So why make him drink blood if you don’t know what will happen? Michael then decides to pay no heed to Selene’s words, comes out of the hiding place and goes into an inn in a nearby village to order food. While he’s there, I was trying to make out the language the people were speaking, but couldn’t recognize it. By their looks, though, the uniformed men seemed either Russian or Romanian. But that wouldn’t make any sense since the other doctors in the hospital where Michael used to work also spoke English, just like our protagonists. I’m guessing the question of ‘where’ is a too detailed one to ask. Actually, when Michael’s eating, there is a television broadcast in which the presenter is speaking a language that is definitely not English. Why did the other doctor at Michael’s hospital speak English then? Plot convenience? The dissonance between the main characters speaking English and all their surroundings having a totally separate language begins to strike me more and more.

Anyway, after a few bites Michael finds out that his hybrid stomach doesn’t like human food. He throws up and for some reason begins unwillingly transforming into his hybrid form. He fights off the guards who try to capture him since he’s now a wanted person (I don’t know for what reason now because the policemen in the first movie who were also looking for him were put there by the Lycans). At the time, Selene, on her way to the mansion, notices Marcus flying above the treetops in the opposite direction and drops her plans of visiting the coven since the target of her quest has just passed her by. An emergency call from one of the policemen is then intercepted by the humans on the ship and their team is dispatched to Michael’s location. Great, another party is looking for him. I guess that’s all he’s good for. No wonder he’s not there anymore in the upcoming fourth movie.

So just in time, Selene comes to his rescue and saves his behind, but right after they escape one posse, they run into another person wanting to have a word with them. It’s Marcus, who’s caught up with them and who seems to be running an errand of his own among the various subplots. This is sometimes an impression I get of this movie, that every character here acts on their own separate errands, but fortunately for the movie all these errands turn out to be somehow related to the general, superior plotline. It appears that Marcus has embarked on a campaign of his own after learning of Viktor’s and Kraven’s deeds – he suspects that Viktor murdered Selene’s family for a reason, to conceal something from him. In order to learn what it was, Marcus forcefully tries to bite Selene who was the sole survivor of that night, but he is prevented from doing so by Michael packing a bunch of bullets into his head and chest. Running away from Marcus, Selene and Michael hijack a truck on which Michael and Marcus then have a fight in which Marcus attempts to take away Lucian’s amulet from the former. Michael’s hybrid form seems to have evolved in this movie (get it? Evolved) and now looks something like this:


Which is a bit more plausible for a hybrid compared to what he looked like in the first movie, with basically his skin colour being different and him having claws and black eyes. After the fight we learn that Marcus is apparently also a hybrid like Michael. Hah! And the stupid, stupid me thought that he could fly around in a man-bat form maaaaaaybe because he was the BLOODY FIRST AND MOST POWERFUL VAMPIRE. But the question is, why is he a hybrid? Because of the fact he absorbed the Lycan doctor’s blood? But how does that make sense? According to the first movie, only a direct and untainted (a.k.a. human) descendant of Alexander Corvinus was able to mutate into a hybrid after absorbing both the vampire and werewolf virus. The doc even said that Marcus would not be eligible for it because he was already a vampire. So unless they mean a different, unmentioned so far, kind of hybrid, this puts the whole integrity of the first movie’s plot in question.

After a great deal of gunfire and even trying to grind him to a pulp against the cliff wall they finally manage to fend off Marcus, but if that wasn’t enough, the sun is just about to rise and Selene is probably the least happy person in the world about it. Somehow they manage to find an abandoned, it seems, warehouse, but unfortunately it has windows, like most warehouses do. Michael then, in sloooooow-mooootioooooon, throws a sheet-like material over the truck’s windscreen to shield Selene from the sunlight and… proceeds to splash the windows with black paint he found on the workbenches after opening the cans’ lids with his claws. This is so stupid I won’t even begin to describe it, especially that it’s made to look epic and heroic, because he’s trying to save Selene from getting burned to a crisp. HOWEVER, wouldn’t it be MUCH easier if he wrapped her in that big sheet he threw onto the truck and moved her to the closed storeroom he ANYWAY moves her to after he’s done with the windows?? Even more so that he doesn’t manage to cover all the surface of the windows with the paint so there’s still sunlight coming in. But no, he then decides to cover only her head with the sheet and walk her to a nearby cargo container. Anyway, a totally unneeded slow-motion sex-scene follows. Jesus, even the sex-scene, now that I think about it, looks like the sex-scene in the Matrix series. I am so disappointed. Both in the fact you put a sex-scene into this movie totally out of the blue (because we need to have a sex-scene to make the movie more attractive, right? Dayum, you’re grasping.) and that it looks like the one in the second? I think? Matrix movie. I mean, it was obvious that Michael and Selene have something going on between each other, but a fade-out kissing scene would have been enough. What purpose does that scene serve, I mean? To show that vampires, too, can f***? Unless Selene finds out she’s pregnant in the upcoming fourth movie, I call this scene bullshit. Goddammit, it’s been only 37 minutes and there’s already so much bullshit in this movie… Oh, and did I mention Selene apparently has no underwear beneath that latex suit? Ouch, that must be uncomfortable!

As the sun sets yet again, we see then that the human squad from the ship comes to recover the body of the dead Lycan and blow up the interrogation bunker from before. More importantly, Selene accidentally pushes the gem in the centre of Lucian’s medallion, which makes ragged plates pop out at the corners. After that, Selene experiences a vision of children laughing and painting things on a wall of a further unspecified place. One of the girls is seen holding the same amulet in her hand. It is then revealed that those were Selene’s memories as she tells Michael she remembers the amulet from her childhood. Apparently she also has NO further memories at all of her connection to the amulet, nothing about the circumstances in which she came to hold it, nothing about the place, nada.


Because of which the two of them decide to pay a visit to a banished vampire historian who, in spite of being an outcast, seems to be living quite a pleasant life in the company of his vampire mistresses. The only funny and ironic thing about it is that the place where he’s hiding used to be a monastery and that he’s making out with them on the altar. Needless to say, Tannis, for that is his name, is unhappy to see Selene, the one who had once banished him, on his doorstep, so he lures Selene into a trapdoor and unleashes chained werewolves at her and one other at Michael outside. During the fight, Selene kills two of them by stabbing them in the head with a hunting knife. It seems we have fallen quite low from needing to shoot werewolves with silver bullets to stabbing them with knives, haven’t we, Selene? Brain damage seems to be equally effective though, so let’s move on. When Michael deals with the remaining werewolves, Selene takes out the mistresses and finally confronts Tannis. They learn that his Lycan bodyguards were a gift from Lucian who was trading anti-vampire weaponry with Tannis. Damn, there goes my theory of Lycans being smart enough to produce weapons. Goddamn you, you discriminating movie!

As they talk, we see that Marcus goes to feed on horse blood in order to regain some more of his strength. Tannis then informs Selene that Viktor wasn’t the first vampire, “as he has lead us to believe” and that it was Marcus who was the first original vampire… Wait, what? WHAT? THERE IS A WHOLE STORY ABOUT MARCUS AND WILLIAM, THE TWO SONS OF CORVINUS, BEING THE FIRST OF THEIR KINDS REPEATING ITSELF OVER THE COURSE OF TWO MOVIES AND YOU STILL HAVE TO STATE THE OBVIOUS?? How stupid are the vampires? They seriously adopted Viktor’s word for him being the first vampire as truth without any question? With Marcus alive? And over the span of so many centuries no-one completely thought about asking? No-one had doubts? BULLSHIT. So anyway, the legend proves to be true and we learn that it was Marcus who offered Viktor to become a vampire, the latter in return lending Marcus an army of vampires so that he could defeat his twin brother, William. Asked why the captured William was left alive, Tannis answers that Viktor feared that killing either William or Marcus would lead to the death of all those in their bloodline, meaning, basically all werewolves and vampires. Or at least that’s what Viktor made everyone believe, but at the same time was too afraid to put to a test.


We then learn that it was Selene’s father who was commissioned by Viktor to build a special prison in order to contain William and that’s the reason why Selene has memories of her connection to Lucian’s medallion. Her family was murdered years later when Lucian escaped from under the vampire rule, because her father knew the exact location of the prison and Lucian was in possession of the medallion – the key to its opening. That said, Selene is the last living person who knows the location of the prison, not consciously, but the memory is stored away in her blood, which is the reason why Marcus is now after her. By the way, what unsettles me in those flashbacks is that, since Selene’s father was ginger and she is shown as a fair-haired girl, how come she has such jet-black hair now? I mean, I used to have much lighter hair as a kid, but that’s a bit too much of stretching it. Were you really unable to find a pretty dark-haired girl at the time, guys? Tannis then tells Selene he doesn’t know why exactly Marcus is looking for William’s prison now, but that he knows someone who might and they agree to arrange a meeting. When Selene and Michael are off, Tannis has yet a new guest visiting, this one even more troublesome than the previous – Marcus. As we can expect, Marcus learns everything that has happened by sucking out Tannis’ blood and is now also headed to the ship of Lorenz Macaro.

Selene shows the medallion-key to Lorenz Macaro, who is not really who he seems. Seeing the signet on his hand, Selene connects the dots in her mind and comes to a conclusion that Macaro is, in fact, none other than Alexander Corvinus – the first immortal of legends. He then explains how for centuries, he’s the one who’s been cleaning up ‘the mess’ after his two sons, but was never able to put a stop to it because of his fatherly love for them. Their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Marcus in his man-bat form who decides to take revenge on Michael first for their fight on the truck and so he IMPALES him on the metal railings on the pier where the ship is docking and takes away Lucian’s medallion. Seeing this, Selene becomes enraged but is no match for Marcus who then gorges himself in her blood, learning the location of William’s prison. After Marcus flies away, Selene desperately tries to save Michael by pouring her blood into his wounds but it seems to have no effect. Wait… he’s dead? The most powerful of all, a vampire-werewolf hybrid got owned like a little bitch just like that? Let me just say this in his memory – Michael died as he lived – A SIDEKICK MINOR CHARACTER. At least that’s one thing out of the way, rejoice! Because come on, this story was never about him. He was just a subplot throughout.

While Selene’s moping, Marcus comes to pay a visit to his father. He complains to him how he let William ‘suffer alone in darkness’ for the last 500 years and wants Viktor’s key. Since Corvinus is unwilling to give it to him, afraid of the world being overrun by William’s breed of werewolves, it takes Marcus to skewer his father with his own sword to take it away from him. At the same time, Marcus states he wants to become the god of a new world in which there will be no distinction between vampires and werewolves, only hybrids. Great, another hybrid-obsessed character, just what we needed… So the dying Corvinus refuses accepting medical help from his subordinates and decides he’s tired with the world and prefers to leave it just as he is most needed, but first orders for Selene to see him. He then offers his blood to her, saying that by drinking it she will become the future and apparently will have less trouble in defeating Marcus. After that, she leaves with Corvinus’ squad on a helicopter to the location of the prison (which I guess she now remembers all of a sudden? Or she sucked it out with Corvinus’ blood? See, it’s not stated in the movie.). Also, apparently Michael is NOT DEAD because she took him with them and seems relieved after checking for his heartbeat. And there I was so happy that the movie finally corrected one of its biggest mistakes… So as they approach the ruins of a big castle in the mountains where William’s prison is located, Selene remembers about there being an underwater passage leading inside it.

In sleep he sang to me, in dreams he came… That voice which calls to me and speaks my name… And do I dream again? For now I find the Phantom of the Opera is there, inside my mind.

Since there is nowhere a helicopter can land, that is the course of action the squad decides on. Fortunately, with their versatility they are prepared for any kind of circumstances. I bet they’d have suits for swimming in lava too on that chopper. They also equip their guns only with UV-rounds – not like there will be a werewolf there if Marcus manages to free William, will there?

Well, guess what, totally unexpectedly, Marcus is already there, ready to free the werewolf dummy, I mean, William. William, however, doesn’t seem too happy that his brother has come to free him and charges at him, I think much to Marcus’ disappointment. He must have been an idiot if knowing that his brother is a mindless beast and having seen the havoc he wrought upon the townsfolk back in the 13th century he still hoped that maybe, just maybe William developed human feelings and most of all conscience over the span of those 500 years of total darkness.

After all this time, William could probably use a mint or two…
By the way, why the hell is his head so goddamn BIG? I mean, look at him, he’s totally disproportional. His torso is short, his hands are short and his legs are long, but the head makes him look as though he could collapse under its weight at any moment. Oh, did I mention he also has blank eyes? What, is he blind or something? Why, just why? So that he looks more creepy? Well, with such a big head he looks more grotesque than scary. Also, Marcus, that hand of yours might not be enough to keep him at a distance…

When Selene and the humans arrive at the Scene of the Movie’s Finale, Marcus is already done with freeing William. The squad is then ambushed both by William and Marcus and for a moment the movie turns into Dog Soldiers… But that’s also a story for a different occasion.

William would hereby like to say hello to the werewolf from “Bad Moon”
Selene then fights Marcus, showing him that she is now stronger than before thanks to Alexander Corvinus’ blood, but she still resorts to gunfire as the tool that solves all problems. Well, as if she hasn’t learned that lesson ten times over before, it does not. Using Viktor’s key, she manages to separate Marcus by closing the prison door in front of him. Imperfectly, though, because some fallen rocks happen to prevent the door from being shut completely, which later on will enable Marcus to escape. In the meantime, we see that Michael regenerates and comes back to his senses on board the helicopter. During that time, the soldiers are then caught in a trap and are rendered helpless because they only brought UV-rounds. Because preparing for the worst scenario in which Marcus manages to free William is STUPID. If I were Selene, I would have only one thing to say to this:


So one by one, the soldiers get wiped out by William (man, this really is like Dog Soldiers) until it’s just him and Selene. Again, gunfire doesn’t do much about the werewolf, but I guess that the scenes where Selene reloads her magazines by hitting the guns against each other was the reason for this whole shooting scene. In an attempt to defeat William, Selene blows a great hole in the ceiling of the castle, which will become important in a moment. When William escapes, Selene salvages a new gun from her fallen companions. Because in these movies almost all vampires are useless without guns. However, a new problem arises. Remember that plot point about original lycanthropy being like undeath? Well, the makers of the movie also now remembered about it and all the soldiers that were just killed by William now come back to life and transform into werewolves.


Great. In the first movie we had gargoyle-werewolves. Now we have CGI gorilla-werewolves. I apologise I ever said a bad word about the gargoyle-werewolves… Anyway, while this is happening, Michael gets back on his feet and, literally, dives into the action from the helicopter through the hole Selene made in the roof, conveniently. Their sweet reunion is interrupted by the Voice of the Audience, I mean, William who appears out of the blue and attacks Michael. Well, maybe he’s just jealous. At the same time I am tortured by the stock sounds used in William’s roar since I’ve heard them so many times before it makes me want to puke. When William is slowly overwhelmed by gunfire from Selene and the guys in the chopper (Michael is useless again), Marcus finally gets out of the prison and joins in the fight and does the one most awesome thing in this movie – he pulls down the helicopter by the chain on which Michael jumped down into the castle, aiming it at Selene.

He tried to kill me with a... chopper!
Compared to that, singing “He tried to kill me with a fork-lift” seems pretty unimpressive. Also, damn those blades are made of diamond – they cut through everything, rock, metal, wood, and they keep going! So then Michael takes on William under the bridge while Selene fights Marcus above them. Also, Marcus seems to have lost his wings somewhere, don’t know where and why, but he did. As always, Michael gets his ass kicked by William before he does a Matrix jump behind the werewolf and rips his head off with his bare hands. An ungrateful death for someone who’s spend 500 years confined in a prison on the backside of beyond and been released only about 15 minutes before. And in addition, he got killed off by a mediocre character like Michael. This, obviously, angers Marcus who suddenly remembers he can sprout wings and having done that he skewers Selene with one of them. But as she is stronger now, she snaps the wing in two and stabs Marcus through the jaw and the head with its other part, subsequently pushing Marcus into the propeller which turns him into salsa. Conveniently, this proves to be as much as the propeller can take, because just after that it creaks and stops spinning. Plot convenience, hoooo!

So then the sun rises on the whole scene, where the first vampire and first werewolf are dead and gone, so the viewers are faced with a question of whether or not the bloodlines have been severed. Rays of sunlight fall on Selene’s hand without burning her, but she hasn’t become a human, she’s still a vampire, a daywalker now it seems thanks to Corvinus’ blood. With a kiss that would have been a sufficient replacement for the sex-scene, the movie ends with music that reminds me of the Matrix and Selene’s monologue again in which she foretells of an ‘unknown chapter’ that lies ahead – a continuation. Roll credits.

Impressions & Evaluation

Where do I start… I have seen Underworld: Evolution at least three times now, but however much I try I just can’t get myself to like it. I never thought I’d say this, but the first movie was actually better than this one in spite of its being a werewolf version of The Matrix. Obviously, this movie doesn’t have annoying characters like Kraven, but Kraven’s place seems to have been taken by Michael who is the most useless of all the characters. From what I felt, he serves the purpose of Selene’s sidekick and obligatory love interest, a guard dog that goes everywhere with her and gets beat up over it. He’s supposed to be the most powerful creature of all, since he’s a hybrid, yet he can’t hold his own in a real fight, his victories being more lucky than achieved through power and skill. If he had any personality in the first movie, in the sequel he seems to have lost all of it. He’s there because he needs to be there, because the story has obviously already turned all the way towards Selene as the protagonist and it is her story that makes people want to watch the movie. Michael is just a fly on the wall in comparison.

There is a lot more CGI here than in the first movie, especially when it comes to expendable werewolves, but William’s model and Marcus’ man-bat form are mainly physical, which is good. Oh, and did I mention that there is NO modern-day Lycans in this movie? Everyone seems to have totally forgotten about Lucian’s followers, who, in turn, seem to have vanished into thin air after his death. I guess incorporating a Lycan-related subplot would only confuse the movie when it’s already trying to show us everything at the same time. Or maybe that’s something Mr Len Wiseman left to expand in the fourth movie.

When it comes to the music, there’s not much of it again, and if there is any it’s not something that would create a lasting impression on the viewer. If someone asked me to hum some music from Underworld I’d probably reply: “What music?” Apart from that, there seem to be a lot more plot inconsistencies and flops in the sequel than in the first movie, some of them quite hilarious and embarrassing. Also, plot convenience seems to be creeping more and more inside, which is a very bad thing a movie can allow. I know nothing beats werewolves running on walls, but let’s be serious. Oh, and you know what this movie lacks? Bill Nighy and Michael Sheen. Their places have been taken by Derek Jacobi (Alexander Corvinus) and Tony Curran (Marcus) however, whose performance I gotta say I like. Along with Selene, they’re the main characters of the movie, but as it eventually turns out (second movie in a row) the two other main characters apart from Selene are in the end expendable.

What I will give the Underworld movies credit for is a plotline that is more complex than most of other werewolf movies, which makes it distinct. That’s a plus. However, even with a good idea, if the execution goes wrong at some point, it cannot be viewed as a pearl. All in all, Underworld: Evolution is an action movie if by action you understand pretty women in latex suits firing countless rounds from machine guns in order to kill vampires and werewolves. When I put it like that, it smells like Van Helsing. Though, wait, they didn’t have guns there, did they? Never mind. The one thing that is better in the sequel though is the fact that the amount of Matrix references and look-alike scenes has dropped significantly compared to the first movie. But however you look at it, it’s still Selene-Trinity shooting monsters. So if you felt like you wasted two hours of your life after watching Underworld, then this movie is definitely not for you.

6/10




And that’s about it for the month, thank you for reading, hope you enjoyed what you read and as always feel free to submit comments, suggestions below, vote in the poll. You can always subscribe to updates by email, add me to your favourites, or follow me on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/MangBloodrage. At the same time I would like to wish you all a merry, merry Christmas and a happy new year. And if you’re not planning on partying, I hope you spend it pleasantly with some nice werewolf movies. And after that, we’ll be back in January with a review of the third instalment in the Underworld series, this time a prequel to the main storyline, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans.

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