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Overall Rating

Awesome: 16.52%
Worth A Look: 11.3%
Average: 5.22%
Pretty Bad: 26.09%
Total Crap40.87%

8 reviews, 67 user ratings

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Underworld: Evolution
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by Rob Gonsalves

"More humorless posing."
1 stars

The biggest shock in 'Underworld: Evolution,' the unsolicited-by-me sequel to 2003's video-sleeper hit 'Underworld,' is the moment when the latex-goth vampire Selene (Kate Beckinsale) is revealed to be ... a brunette.

In all of Underworld and in most of this movie, Selene seems to have jet-black hair, but it turns out that's just the dull color scheme of both films, which turns everything various shades of blue and black. It's as if someone had washed these films in the same laundry load as Batman's costume; even Cyndi Lauper in her '80s prime would be rendered colorless in the Underworld universe. In a tender post-coital moment, though, Selene is seen in the morning light, and there she is with brown hair. I'm thinking about hair color after just having seen an action-horror movie; that's a bad sign.

Underworld had its fans -- those who wanted a self-important Matrix-y horror flick, I guess -- so here we have more of the same. If you felt generous, you could praise these movies' tonal consistency: There isn't a laugh anywhere in either film. Director Len Wiseman has possibly played too many vampire-themed role-playing games (indeed, the RPG company White Wolf sued over the similarities between the first film and their games Vampire: The Masquerade and Werewolf: The Apocalypse). He takes the material with the deadly seriousness of a game master presiding over a terribly crucial round of play. Brokeback Mountain had more levity than these movies, for Christ's sake. As before, characters stand around grimly, jaws clenched, distracted by the unspeakable import of the centuries-long feud between ... uh ... vampires and werewolves.

I'm sorry, should movies like this not be fun? Should there not be a modern sensibility to go along with the modern weaponry? In a prologue, set in the 12th century, we see vamps and werewolves go at each other with swords and their own fangs. The rest of the movie has the vampires loaded for bear with the latest in NRA chic (the werewolves don't get much screen time here, though, and they don't have any firepower now). Selene, a "death dealer" whose job is to kill werewolves, always has what appear to be dozens of guns secreted somewhere in her body suit. Yet late in the movie, when a SWAT team of vampires delve into a werewolf-ridden dungeon, we hear one of them say "We only have UV rounds" -- which only work on vamps, not werewolves (who died by liquid-silver bullets in the first film). Excuse me? You have equipment that would make Rambo cry with envy, and you forgot to bring the ammo that kills the very creatures you've been hunting for centuries?

Underworld: Evolution is convoluted nonsense anyway, having to do with the powerful vampire and werewolf sons (boss-level monsters, you'd call them in a video game) of the immortal Corvinus (Derek Jacobi), whose blood also flows in the veins of Selene's half-vamp, half-wolf sweetie Michael (Scott Speedman). The vampire son Marcus (Tony Curran) can turn into a bat-like thing that at one point chases Selene while she's driving a big truck; I feel certain that Derek Jacobi never imagined he'd be in a movie involving a contest between a truck and a bat monster. The werewolf son is in exile behind approximately five thousand locked doors, which can only be opened by two keys, and only Selene knows where he is, and I'm back to thinking about Selene's hair color. Seriously, is her hair like a mood ring or something? It's only brown when she's happy?

I'm a horror fan and a shameless booster of cheesy movies. I love a ridiculous vampire or werewolf movie as much as the next B-movie geek. Hell, I can't wait for Werewolves on Wheels to come out on DVD next month. But the Underworld movies take what should be a radiantly goofy premise and ladle tons of uptight style and backstory over it, stealing from The Matrix and Lord of the Rings and whatever else made millions of geeks buy millions of tickets (only by the grace of God are there no lightsabers in these films, I suspect). The effect is pulp pomposity.

The 'Underworld' films -- a prequel is said to be planned too, if you're ready for that -- are just action flicks banged together with horror fantasy, and the action is pretty uninspired, except a scene involving a climactic fight perilously near a whirring helicopter blade. But wait, that rips off the 'Indiana Jone's movies. I guess we're lucky Selene isn't wearing a fedora. Then again, that would cover up her mood hair.

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originally posted: 01/04/07 13:54:51
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User Comments

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
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  20-Jan-2006 (R)
  DVD: 06-Jun-2006



Directed by
  Len Wiseman

Written by
  Danny McBride

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

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