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Overall Rating
2.42

Awesome: 16.67%
Worth A Look: 12.5%
Average: 5.83%
Pretty Bad: 25.83%
Total Crap39.17%

8 reviews, 72 user ratings


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Underworld: Evolution
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by Peter Sobczynski

"Makes 'Bloodrayne' look like a real movie by comparison"
1 stars

Only a couple of weeks ago–can it really be that long?–critics everywhere were pouncing on Uwe Boll’s misbegotten “Bloodrayne” and trying to outdo one another in their efforts to declaim it one of the worst films ever made by human beings. Although there is no arguing the fact that it was a terrible film–what else would you expect from something that presents viewers with such sights as a visibly hung-over Michael Madsen, Sir Ben “A Sound of Thunder” Kingsley wearing what appeared to be a plastic toupee, Meat Loaf wearing what appeared to be a wig left over from the shooting of the “Rock Me Amadeus” video and a “special appearance by Billy Zane”?–it wasn’t nearly as apocalyptically awful as some of the snider critics made it. Not only was it not the worst film ever made, it turns out that it wasn’t even the worst hot-vampire-babe-in-tight-clothing-killing-other-vampires-via-crappy-CGI-effects movie to be released during the month of January, 2006. That honor goes to the bewildering “Underworld: Evolution,” a film with an unusually apt title since there is nothing even vaguely approaching an intelligent design on display during its seemingly endless running time.

The film is a sequel to 2003's “Underworld,” a film seen by many (at least enough to warrant a follow-up) and loved by few. In it, you will recall (and if you don’t, it simply means that you probably still have enough happiness and joy in your life to keep you from watching horrible movies), a war has been brewing for hundreds of years between vampires and werewolves for bragging rights to the world. Kate Beckinsale played Selene, a vampire “death-dealer” who finds herself protecting Michael Corvin (Scott Speedman), an ordinary dope who, it turns out, is a direct descendant of the first werewolf or some damn thing like that. At the end, it turned out that Selene’s vampire buddies had been lying to her for centuries about the true reasons for the conflict and she and Michael, who was somehow transformed into a vampire-werewolf hybrid, found themselves on the run and hunted by both groups.

This time around, things kick off with both an extended prologue and expository title cards meant to supply some of the backstory to the saga. As far as I can tell, it seems that an immortal named Alexander Corvinus (Derek Jacobi) had two twin immortal sons, Marcus (Tony Curran) and William (Brian Steele), and, during a visit to what I can only assume was the most poorly-run petting zoo in the 12th century, the former was bitten by a bat and became the first vampire and the latter became the chew-toy of a werewolf and became the first werewolf. Both brothers were betrayed and locked away until the end of time. Now, Marcus has escaped and is hell-bent on freeing his brother and turning all of mankind either into slaves or snack packs and only the latex-clad Selene and Michael can possibly stop them.

Of course, I could be wrong in that description since there was never a single point during the film in which I had even the vaguest idea what was actually going on. The problem is that director Len Wiseman (who directed the first film and who is Mr. Kate Beckinsale in real life) and screenwriter Danny McBride (who wrote the first film and whose relationship with Ms. Beckinsale is unknown at this time) are so in love with their increasingly convoluted backstory that they spend more time dealing with that–either by utilizing endless flashbacks or by having characters standing around explaining things–than they do in telling the story proper. For those two, I am sure that this film makes perfect sense because they are perhaps the only two people with a working knowledge of what is going on–unfortunately, they haven’t figured out how to transmit that information to the poor saps in the audience in a coherent manner and so we are left scratching our heads while trying to figure out what the hell is going on at any given point.

Then again, you could say the same thing about the actors as well, all of whom are required to stand around in weird outfits and speak weirder dialogue while reacting to effects that are never quite as spectacular as their reactions would otherwise suggest. Although Beckinsale still looks fabulous in her outfit, she still comes off as one of the more bloodless vampires in film history; instead of embracing the goofiness around and having fun with a role that is inherently ridiculous (as Milla Jovovich did in the “Resident Evil” films), she clomps around with a dour expression that makes her seem more like an exceptionally glum fetish model than anything else. However, she is Ms. Personality when compared to Speedman, who is so aggressively bland (even when he is tearing out throats in full werewolf mode) that he makes Willie Aames look like Christopher Walken by comparison.

Closer in tone to a cheapo direct-to-video sequel than anything else, “Underworld: Evolution” is a pointless and murky (visually as well as narratively–the cinematography so dark, presumably to lessen the impact of the cheesy special effects, that it may prove to be literally unwatchable in theaters where they turn the projector bulbs down to save a few pennies) exercise in naked greed masquerading as a horror film–the closest thing to a frightening moment comes during a closing scene that blatantly tries to set up an “Underworld 3.” As far as I can tell, the two films, taken together, have come up with exactly one good idea–the notion that our memories are carried in our blood and that a vampire can receive those memories (especially ones that help conveniently reveal plot points) while feeding on a victim. In other words, if some lissome vampire babe ever decides to drain me of my blood one day, I can at least die knowing that she will be suffering just as much as I once she gets to the memories of seeing this film.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=13771&reviewer=389
originally posted: 01/21/06 09:16:28
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User Comments

4/11/14 mvuoxf USA 5 stars
4/10/14 Dohwhwce USA 2 stars
4/09/14 eadksy USA 3 stars
2/26/14 ukkncecqrt USA 4 stars
2/15/14 Neszwfaw USA 4 stars
4/01/12 Cr a soild sequel with lots of action, suspense, and good acting. kate is awesome! 4 stars
4/23/11 man yawn 1 stars
4/09/11 Annoymous Took About Bad Acting and neither Derek Jacobi can't save this film 1 stars
1/28/08 Alan Disappointing, a sequence of chases and gory battles, but wiht no tension and little sense. 2 stars
9/15/07 dude boring 1 stars
7/22/07 Rebecca It's really not as bad as the detractors make out. Complexity is a good thing. 5 stars
7/16/07 tweener Awesome... sex scene is a bit much for youngens, but kate looks great and plenty of action 5 stars
5/29/07 Rrahn I liked it very much!!! Some people should respect other opinions... 5 stars
5/08/07 Charles Tatum Another sequel that no one asked for 3 stars
2/06/07 AJ Muller Needlessly complex yet still stupid; decent action, though, and more fun than the first. 3 stars
1/27/07 khatukz the hell i care about what other people say,i liked the movie,no! I loved the movie!!! 5 stars
1/05/07 del I don't ever want to meet the fans of these movies. 1 stars
11/26/06 Tess i loved all Kates move!,,,but hated the blood-sheds. 2 stars
11/20/06 money911$$$$$$$ loved the movie kate beckinsale is hotter than hell and i loveed all the action 5 stars
10/06/06 Peachygirl Who cares about the movie? It had Tony Curran in it -- he made the movie worthwhile. 4 stars
9/20/06 Pritchett The first was lame, this was lamer. 1 stars
9/05/06 Ana Kile Amazing. Good effects. Good acting. Good story telling. Requirement: Some intelligence. 5 stars
8/09/06 Dragon The Artist The only things that need to evolve is the acting & the video gamey concept!! 1 stars
8/08/06 sterling joseph roberson i love so much 5 stars
7/24/06 Jim Better and more epic than the first, and about five times gorier. Michael, move your arm! 4 stars
6/13/06 Paul Schem 5 stars
4/10/06 mohan action , pretty good speical effects and hot,sexy kate 4 stars
3/30/06 fuzzl10 kate beckinsale manages to pull off the girl action heroine, a feat few women can do 5 stars
3/10/06 Sumixam It was entertaining for a fan of the 1st 5 stars
2/28/06 dfd good movie but the first was better 4 stars
2/25/06 PAG Pretty good flick. Better than the first. 4 stars
2/22/06 Leia Easily one of the dumbest movies I've ever seen. 1 stars
2/21/06 riddsy good film 4 stars
2/17/06 Soha Molina bad 1 stars
2/17/06 Galliwertz Even lamer than the first, if you can imagine that. 1 stars
2/16/06 ES Excellent, if you enjoyed the first you'll love the 2nd 5 stars
2/11/06 Mike How disappointing. Good first, totally confused second film. How often can Michael die? 2 stars
2/08/06 FritztheCat I thought this movie was such divine poop in a can...just like the first. 1 stars
2/04/06 CD crap 1 stars
2/01/06 Jonathon its crap.....but it's better than the other crap out there 3 stars
1/31/06 Gungywamp Even lamer than the original lame-fest... 1 stars
1/30/06 lee Boring 1 stars
1/29/06 CthulhuFhtagn Very poor sequel to a very poor film...why are we shocked? 1 stars
1/28/06 Stimpy of DOTs I really enjoyed this movie, 4 stars
1/28/06 Jeebuzz ...and here I was thinking that the FIRST one sucked ass...WHOAH!!!!!!!! 1 stars
1/27/06 Ole Man Bourbon Sure, it's crap. But it's not as bad as a lot of other crap. Whatever that means. 2 stars
1/27/06 Popem UNDERWORLD is a movie morons always seem to like...what gives??? 1 stars
1/25/06 Jeff Paulin it was a good action movie worth a look 4 stars
1/25/06 Anus I fell asleep while watching this. That's bad, right? TRIUMPH : UNDERWEAR REVOLUTION 1 stars
1/25/06 Runaway Hey! Some loser guy's old loser wife liked it! That MUST mean it's good!!! 1 stars
1/24/06 Lighten-up It's not that bad! It's enjoyable for what it is. My 40yr old wife loves it. 3 stars
1/24/06 K-2 You are all losers for liking this garbage...but we already knew that, didn't we? 1 stars
1/24/06 Paul Critics really have NO lives. RELAX! This movie was good! FUN! Kate you are perfect. 4 stars
1/24/06 Michael Loved it. don't listen to critics. Listen to regular people 4 stars
1/23/06 Chip It was alright. The first one had a better storyline though. 4 stars
1/23/06 LoveTrash This movie ROCKED (worthy of several viewings, unlike other blockbusters) 5 stars
1/23/06 Blutarsky Nowhere near as bad as made out here. Bah. 4 stars
1/23/06 The Talking Elbow Proof that film reviewers should be taken with a grain of salt: I had no problems with UE. 5 stars
1/23/06 JK This sequel was incredible! I loved it. Kate kicked more ass than she did in the original! 5 stars
1/23/06 Zordude I enjoyed it. 5 stars
1/23/06 bluseed This movie rocks!!! and so did Kate! 5 stars
1/23/06 Noodle The same dull people who liked the crappy first will like this second helping of shit, too! 1 stars
1/22/06 Ton I enjoyed this movie! Don't watch it if you don't like vampires. 5 stars
1/22/06 Jessi I think it was a great film and even better than the first! 5 stars
1/22/06 Evil Wolfie Loved the first - This one not so much 3 stars
1/22/06 NoRefill Just really boring. Liked this one even less than the first one. 2 stars
1/22/06 Flyboy Dare I say even more boring than the first...I didn't think that was possible. 1 stars
1/21/06 asme cool!!!!!! yah.... 3 stars
1/21/06 SoHo More trash for the January dumping ground! WAY worse than the original turd!!!! 1 stars
1/21/06 Chappy I hated the original, WHY did I think this one would be any better???? Aaaaargggggh!!!!!!! 1 stars
1/21/06 malcolm how could a film w/beckinsale naked, vampires, werewolves, graphic violence be so BORING? 2 stars
1/20/06 BrianWilly Surprisingly fun and entertaining. Better than the first. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  20-Jan-2006 (R)
  DVD: 06-Jun-2006

UK
  20-Jan-2006

Australia
  19-Jan-2006


Directed by
  Len Wiseman

Written by
  Danny McBride

Cast
  Kate Beckinsale
  Scott Speedman
  Tony Curran
  Derek Jacobi
  Bill Nighy
  Michael Sheen



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