Underworld: Evolution [DVD]
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Thriller sequel starring Kate Beckinsale. In the Underworld, Vampires are a secret clan of modern aristocratic sophisticates whose mortal enemies are the Lycans (werewolves), a shrewd gang of street thugs who prowl the city's underbelly. No one knows the origin of their bitter blood feud, but the balance of power between them turns even bloodier when a beautiful young Vampire warrior and a newly-turned Lycan with a mysterious past fall in love.
Better action, a bit of sex, and gorier R-rated violence make Underworld: Evolution a reasonably satisfying sequel to 2003's surprise hit Underworld. Looking stunning as ever in her black leather battle gear, Kate Beckinsale is every goth guy's fantasy as Selene, the vampire "death dealer" who's now fighting to stop the release of the original "Lycan" werewolf, William (Brian Steele) from the prison that's held him for centuries. As we learn from the film's action-packed prologue, William and his brother Marcus (Tony Curran) began the bloodline of vampires and werewolves, and after witnessing centuries of warfare between them, their immortal father Corvinus (Derek Jacobi) now seeks Selene and the human vampire/lycan hybrid Michael (Scott Speedman) to put an end to the war perpetuated by Victor (Bill Nighy), the vampire warrior whose betrayal of Selene turns Underworld: Evolution into an epic tale of familial revenge. This ambitious attempt at Shakespearean horror is compromised by a script (by Danny McBride and returning director Len Wiseman, Beckinsale's real-life husband) that's more confusing than it needs to be, with too many characters and not enough storytelling detail to flesh them all out. Aspiring to greatness and falling well short of that goal, Underworld: Evolution succeeds instead as a full-throttle action/horror thriller, with enough swordplay, gunplay, and CGI monsters to justify the continuation of the Underworld franchise. If you're an established fan, this is a must-see movie; if not, well... at least it's better than Van Helsing! --Jeff Shannon
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The film starts with a history lesson about the lives of Marcus (Tony Curran) and his twin brother William (Brian Steele) - the original vampire and werewolf. The sons of the immortal - one bitten by a bat, the other by a wolf. It shows the what happened to the two brothers and how Viktor (Bill Nighy) gained control over the vampire clan.
Selene's (Kate Beckinsale) voice over gives the situation now - "For six centuries I was a loyal soldier to the vampire clan. But I was betrayed. The war was not as it had seemed. In one night, the lies that had united our kind had been exposed. Kraven (Shane Brolly), our second-in-command, had formed a secret alliance with Lucian (Michael Sheen), leader of the werewolf clan, to overthrow Viktor, our leader. But Kraven's lust for power and domination had failed. Viktor was not the savior I had been led to believe. He had betrayed us all. Soon, the hunt will be on for his killer. I have but one ally left: Michael (Scott Speedman), the human descendent of Corvinus (Sir Derek Jacobi). Neither vampire nor lycan, but a hybrid. It's only a matter of time before we're found. My only hope now is to awaken Marcus, our last remaining elder, and expose the truth before Kraven tries to murder him while he's still in hibernation. Kraven knows he's no match for him awake."
We know from the original film that Marcus was 'sleeping' due to take Amelia's (Zita Gorog) place in charge of the vampires, when werewolf scientist was killed over his casket, and the blood of the werewolf feeds the vampire son of Corvinus, creating another hybrid creature part vampire, part werewolf like Michael.
Marcus seizes his opportunity to be reunited with his imprisoned brother and Selene and Michael must attempt to stop him from releasing his uncontrollable sibling.
This was an enjoyable film, with a good number of extras. Not quite as good as the first film, but not far off really. Definitely worth watching in my opinion.
There is to be a third film in the series, Underworld Rise of the Lycans, but Ms Beckinsale's character Selene and Scott Speedman's Michael will not be appearing in it, but Michael Sheen (Lucian), and Bill Nighy (Viktor) will be in the prequel.
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