Underworld: Evolution (2006)
Starring Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Tony Curran, Shane Brolly, Sir Derek Jacobi, Stephen Mackintosh, Zita Görög, Brian Steele, Sophie Myles and Davy Jones
Directed by Len Wiseman
I wasn’t a big fan of Underworld, but I rented Underworld: Evolution over the weekend. I had every intention of writing a review, but then some jackhole hacked my forum and I got distracted.
You might ask yourself why I would rent a sequel to a movie I didn’t like. Two reasons really:
- I’d heard from several sources that the sequel was superior to the original.
- I believe that eventually a brilliant sequel to a movie that sucked will counter all the sucky sequels to brilliant movies, bringing balance to the Force.
As the sequel had been held up as superior to the original, I suppose it is necessary to compare the two. However, I want to stay away from phrases like “Underworld: Evolution was/wasn’t as good as Underworld” because they imply that Underworld was measurably good. The only comparison I will make is that both Underworld and Underworld: Evolution failed to meet my expectations. The second only comparison I will make is the number of partial decapitations, which I believe is identical in both films.
I’m having a hard time quantifying why I didn’t like this movie. It has a lot of stuff that I normally enjoy, including leather-clad Beckinsalian vampires (okay, that one is pretty specific), lots of gunplay, Derek Jacobi, helicopters, explosions, werewolves, and ass-kicking. U:E also had something its predecessor did not: hot vampire-on-lycan action. Well, technically it’s hot vampire-on-vampire/lycan-hybrid action, but that sounds clunky.
So why didn’t I like it? Well, Michael (the aforementioned vampire/lycan hybrid) and Selene (the aforementioned leather-clad Beckinsalian vampire) still have zero chemistry. I shouldn’t have to be told that these characters love each other, it should be obvious from their interactions, and (hot vampire-on-vampire/lycan-hybrid action notwithstanding) it isn’t. I’ve loved peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with more passion than Michael loves Selene (hot geek-on-PBJ action sold separately)!
Then there’s Michael (who looks like he really, really needs to be the gentle-yet-dangerous frontman for an almost-metal alternative group). He’s supposed to be this uber-powerful cross between vampires and werewolves, but mostly what he does is get his ass kicked until the very end of the movie, when he finally grows a pair and [SPOILER REDACTED].
Finally, there’s this nagging feeling I had at the back of my head that continuity had taken a vacation between Underworld and Underworld: Evolution. Sadly, I can’t put my finger on it and I’m afraid that only be watching both movies again will I be able to either identify the discontinuity or dispel the nagging demon. I’m not sure it’s worth the trouble.