“Underworld: Rise of the Lycans” Fun Prequel

Genres: Romance, Suspense/Horror, Thriller and Sequel
Running Time: 1 hr. 32 min.
Release Date: January 23rd, 2009 (wide)
MPAA Rating: R for bloody violence and some sexuality.
Distributors: Sony Pictures Releasing
Directed by: Patrick Tatopoulos

JJ Rating: B+

Lucian (Michael Sheen) is a Lycans who is a favorite slave of Viktor (Bill Nighy). Lucian has a love affair with Sonja (Rhona Mitra) who just so happens to be Viktor’s daughter. It’s a soap opera of mythical proportions. Lucian decides it’s time to raise up and kick butt because the vampires are no longer worthy of slaving for. Underworld: Rise of the Lycans.

One thing is a fact, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans is better than the second one: Underworld: Evolution. Why? It was fun, thrilling, exciting and lacked all that ridiculous romance that bogged down Evolution. There is romance but it doesn’t overtake the action that made the first one great. It is not, however, better than Underworld because the action isn’t nearly as good. The one thing that Evolution beat Rise of the Lycans over was the sex scene. The sex scene in Evolution was far more intense and less revealing, as well as shorter, than Rise of the Lycans sex scene.

It is not the same director as the first two. The action is different in a way and I guess that would be because now it’s done differently because of a new set of eyes. It was bloodier, that’s for sure. Werewolves lose their heads, Vampires get crushed and so forth. It’s gore galore for a movie like this. The genres listed are making me laugh. The fact that it mentions romance to describe this movie as well as horror is pretty funny.

I like that they used Lucian the same character that was in the first two. It was also cool that they took from a story that was mentioned in the previous movies about his past and used it as a template for Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. I like when films that are sequels tying in together with previous films in some way other than same characters and actors. I really enjoyed the ending. It was so simple and it was a total throwback to Underworld. It seemed to bring everything full circle in such a way that it suggests that there won’t be another one. But as we all know if this film makes the big bucks there will be, unfortunately, a fourth one. I think that they have enough material to bring about a fourth one, but the story was not strong this go around.

That is the weak point of Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. It had a weak script. The action and the good acting covered over the bland script well enough for me to ignore it. But upon looking back that was one of the biggest flaws it had. It doesn’t matter what the theme of the film is about, the script can always be really good. There is no limiting the power of a script as long as the writers know what they are doing and where they want to go with the story. The pacing of the film was decent. I think it could have picked up the pace so that it didn’t drag in some areas, but oh well can’t have it all.

I believe if you like the first one and were disappointed (or liked it alright) the second one you’ll be pleased with this film. It’s not perfect but I graded it within context of the other two and what I expected and it almost beat my expectations as well as it entertained me. I think that’s what matters with a film like this. It should entertain and be fun. Underworld: Rise of the Lycans was just that, fun and thrilling and above all entertaining.

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