Tuesday 11 August 2015

Underworld: Rise / Eternal / Awakening

[Day 12 of Blaugust 2015!]

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans

A plague on both your houses! Oh... wait...

This prequel movie tells of how the vampires and lycans came to be at war in the first place. Alas, the director opted to put spoilers in for the previous two movies so I can't recommend watching this first - you'll really need to be content to watch it in order, and by doing so you'll kind of already know what happens here. The protagonists this time are Lucian the lycan (Michael Sheen) and the vampiress Sonja (Rhona Mitra) who basically just follow a much more violent and gory version of Romeo and Juliet.

Vampire Lord awesomeness.

That said it is still an entertaining film and being set in medieval times the set pieces and costumes are really cool. What really sells it for me is the inclusion once again of Viktor (Bill Nighy) who is even more bad ass than he was in the previous movies (kinda makes sense). What can I say? He's one of my favorite vampires. Doesn't top Hellsing's Alucard (because that guy is just insanely overpowered) but he's up there on the list.

Anyway I digress, I give Rise of the Lycans three fangs out of five and again recommend it to action fans, especially those that enjoy this setting. As one of those people I wouldn't mind watching this one again.


Underworld: Eternal War

It's "Eternal" because Selene obviously likes to play with her kills.

This short three piece anime is probably one you haven't heard of, and each section is devoted to Selene hunting down a trio of lycan "lords"? These tales span a huge number of years which again makes watching it out of sequence (has to be after Rise of the Lycans) quite spoilerific. All the events take place in the same city too which is convenient for reusing backdrops. The angular character art gets takes some getting used to as well but it's passable enough with an ok amount of violence and gore.

Selene: What happened to my face?

There are tons of negatives though. The voice actors for most characters are sub par, and really the plot is on the side of being ridiculous. The bad guys clearly have no chance so it's confusing as to why Selene only downs one of them every x number of years when she was killing worse things in the movie at a faster rate. I can maybe let the first encounter slide with the pre-knowledge that the silver bullets were not as insta-fatal as their upgrades but come on.

There's also a scene in a whore house where girls wearing nothing but G-strings are surprised by the entry of a character and in the next shot all of them are armed with automatic rifles firing like mad. Yeah. What the f... Anyway, I give this one fang out of five and declare it as Not Worth Watching!


Underworld: Awakening
More action, less story.

The humans (who definitely speak English now, thank you Underworld: Evolution for confusing yourself) have learned of the vampires and lycans and have opted to just kill both sides, and they are doing a fantastic job of it managing to capture even Selene (Kate Beckinsale is back). After yet another time skip, Selene awakens in a world where most of non-humans are gone and spends most of her time trying to protect the little girl that set her free.

Seems humans never learn to make smaller air ducts.

I suppose it's worth noting that each movie after the first has a shorter and shorter running time. This one is the quickest movie as there is not a lot going on and most of the plot is predictable, with some exceptions given Selene's new abilities from being powered up in Evolution. They also try to cover up the light plot with tons of violence, which gets a thumbs up from me but I saw what they did there...

As nice as it was to see Kris Holden-Ried  (Dyson in Lost Girl), Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister in Game of Thrones) and Theo James (Four in Divergent) all in the same film it simply isn't up to scratch as the rest of the series and I give it two fangs out of five. I still would watch it again but would prefer any of the others first.

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