(2009) dir. Patrick Tatopoulos
Sequel to Underworld (2003) and Underworld: Evolution (2006), Underworld: Rise of the Lycans is missing its two biggest names, star Kate Beckinsale and her husband director Len Wiseman. Wiseman has moved on to bigger and better things it seems, such as Live Free or Die Hard (2007) and Beckinsale seems to be trying to make other types of films. But let that not kill a franchise.
This is one of the weaker of modern science fiction/horror franchises, lacking any truly good beginning, filled with nothing particularly inventive, and becoming steadily less and less memorable. This series is about the werewolves versus the vampires, and this if a prequel if you will, the story of how we got to Underworld and Underworld: Evolution, with even a final flash forward to show you the context if you hadn’t already figured it out by the end. Frankly, I understood it but I couldn’t remember much about the story anyways other than Beckinsale’s character is sort of in between.
This one tells of the evolution of the werewolves, as slaves to the vampries (the baddies), and their revolt and emancipation. Bill Nighy is the baddest of the baddie vampires, and that guy can chew scenery without even opening his mouth.
It’s uninspired and uninspiring to watch. Hundreds of digitally-animated werewolves racing across the landscape. There is a lot of hard work that goes into producing such a vision and it’s not badly done, but the whole thing just feels very dumb. It’s not that I had high expectations, nor even a good reason to really be watching this movie other than I’d seen the previous ones and like to sprinkle modern B-movies and skunks into my queue just to keep it honest. But I have to say, it’s kind of sad when you pine for the days of Kate Beckinsale and director Len Wiseman.