The International Writers Magazine
:Movie Review

Underworld: Evolution
Directed by Len Wiseman
Screenplay by Danny McBride - Story by Len Wiseman

Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman,Tony Curran, Derek Jacobi, Bill Nighy
Kate Maskell

Blood Feud which has existed for CenturiesUnderworld: Evolution is a sequel to Len Wiseman’s 2003 thrilling and chilling tale of the "underworld" life of Vampires and Lycans (Werewolves), between who a blood feud has raged for centuries.

Underworld: Evolution finally sheds light on the history of the war between these two breeds of creatures, which has been hidden from humanity, and delves far deeper into this unexplained world. If you haven’t seen Underworld then this is no good reason to miss the sequel as the film opens further back in time than audiences of the first had knowledge of. And it’s easy to catch up as the basic plot of the first film is summed up by the sexy voice of the beautiful vampire Selene (Kate Beckinsdale). But if you have seen the first then this is not just another sequel "for the sake of it"; it involves the same characters audiences grew to love, hate and fear, it starts from where it left off and reveals everything that wasn’t explained previously, including the real reason why Selene’s family were brutally murdered by Vampires.

The film journeys back in time to where the blood feud began, when the two sons of Alexander Corvinus were separated into different blood lines, "one bitten by Bat and one by Wolf". After the war between the two species begins, Marcus is forced to imprison his brother William, the Lycan, who is unable to change back to human form. Then back to where we left off; after all the chaos of Victor’s plight to kill Michael Corvin (Scott Speedman), descendant of Corvinus, Lycan blood awakens Marcus who rages when he sees the memories of the Lycan. He, like Michael, has become a hybrid, and with his new found strength and Victor dead, hunts Selene in order to find the prison where his brother has been kept. Because of Selene’s past, she is the only one left who knows how to get to the concealed prison and, with the help of Michael, must stop Marcus from releasing his dangerous brother into the world.

Director Len Wiseman has certainly spiced the story up a bit after the first film by adding a lot more blood and gore. True, in this film, audiences won’t see liquid silver pulsing through the veins of Lycans as it slides through their blood streams but instead heads roll, bodies are sliced open in order to find concealed keys, vampires are pinned against walls by huge wings through their chests and forget the stake through the heart, in Underworld: Evolution it’s more like a wooden pole, soaked in blood, right through the stomach.

There are more teeth, more guts and lots and lots of blood, which holds the memories that will lead Marcus to his brother. But of course other than blood and guts a film would not be a complete without a pinch of sex, and there is certainly that. A very graphic sex scene takes place in an abandoned garage, in an old storage locker, between Selene and Michael lit by glow sticks, which not only gives the audience a break after all the shooting, stabbing and eating but also gives the two gorgeous leads a chance to flash their curves. If werewolves and vampires aren’t your sort of thing then you may want to watch just to see Kate Beckensdale and Scott Speedman strip off.

One of the best things about the film is Kate Beckinsdale’s character Selene, who has improved her role since Underworld. Beckinsdale is said to have wanted to base her heroine character on roles from films such as Aliens and the Terminator trilogy but instead Director Len Wiseman, also her husband, suggested she look more at Russell Crowe in LA Confidential. Dark heroine Selene is a strong woman who never shows her fear, but at the same time has a softer side, especially when it comes to Michael. One of her best lines in the film is when exiled Vampire Tanis says, "You don’t scare me Selene" and with a sexy but sly smile she says softly "I guess I’m going to have to work on that" just before hybrid Michael pounces to the rescue baring his large teeth and his huge muscles.

As enjoyable as the film is, the ending is left very open as it was before. If this is because there is a possibility of there being a third Underworld, Len Wiseman needs to be reminded of the phrase, "you can have too much of a good thing". Underworld: Evolution works brilliantly as a sequel and follows on perfectly from the first film but a third one would only spoil its magic. If you are fascinated by the unknown and a world which only appears to be true in myth and legend, then it would definitely be a disgrace to miss this film.

© Kate Maskell Jan 27th 2006
(University of Portsmouth - Creative Writing Major)

Resources: .(2006), Underworld: Evolution. (2006), Box Office Review: Underworld:Evolution

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