Underworld: Evolution (2006)

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Truth be told, I watched the original Underworld so long ago that I can’t remember what it was about exactly. Some kind of Matrix inspired (aesthetically at least) war between vampires and werewolves. Attentive readers will note that last year I was quite unimpressed with Universal’s classic Werewolf tale. (In fact, the world was unimpressed also, seeing how Talbot’s only sequel became a vehicle for Frankenstein instead.) Luckily, Underworld: Evolution starts things off with two flashbacks, as well as a story scroll, because the tale here is that complicated.

See, there’s vampires led by a man who was bitten by a vampire, warring against werewolves who are led by a man who was, you guessed it, bitten by a werewolf. The snag is the men are brothers. There’s a third man, Michael (Scott Speedman), (I’m not sure how or if he’s related to the two other brothers) who’s a vampire/werewolf hybrid. Michael’s a good, sort of vampire character who doesn’t want to drink blood but has to. Which is good, considering that Michael’s grunge-lite haircut might not be enough for audience members to recall the ’90s. So they made him a circumstantial anti-hero with plenty of angst to drive this point home.

Underworld Evolution - Ambush

Michael’s on the run after the events in the first movie with Selene’s (Kate Beckinsale) character; who’s some kind of super vampire assassin who’s now on the outs with her clan. He has super powers beyond what vampires have, yet Selene does all the work. Michael just sits around staring at blood packets looking like that guy from Puddle of Mud.

(As if I didn’t already have enough reasons to hate this movie.)

Underworld Evolution - Battle`

And, if the sex scene between Selene and Michael is to be believed, vampires manage coitus by penetrating through the belly button!

It’s not all silly lovemaking though, as the main supervampire bad guy Marcus (Tony Curran) is flying around trying to figure out a.) what happened in the first movie, and b.) kill everyone who was involved in what did happen. Marcus is a nice (read: despicable) throwback to the classic Buffy the Vampire Slayer television show; where all the vampires became bald and pointy as they age. He also grows weird wings with daggery points on the end just to jazz things up. He can also see your memories by drinking your blood.

Underworld Evolution - Old Vampire

He’s clearly the favorite to win.

Similar to the half-assed sex scene, the rest of Underworld: Evolution is a cock-tease too. Selene, Michael, and Marcus start things off right with a fight atop a Cold War-era truck, a la Raiders of the Lost Ark. Which causes you to think that they’ll fight again soon, and have this sorry, sad mess done early. But no, there’s the obligatory, Hollywood-mandated subplots tacked on to pad out the run-time.

Underworld Evolution - Dead Werewolf

There’s an exiled vampire with werewolf bodyguards who has to be tracked down (yawn), and a Dustin Hoffman lookalike vampire who commands a battleship. Both of whom plays parts that could’ve easily been explained away in some exposition.

“You are asking me to help you kill my son? You? A death dealer?”

Err, on second thought, about that exposition

Underworld Evolution - Battle2

Sure it sounds silly and overwrought, and it is, but stick around for an ending only big-budget Hollywood could devise. Involving two vampires duking it out next to a spinning helicopter rotor. Yes, I understand that line looks like it makes no sense.

And it shouldn’t. That’s just a sign that you’re not insane. Nor a Hollywood scriptwriter.

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