Underworld: Evolution (2006)

Underworld: Evolution (DVD)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:

  1. I’d heard from several sources that the sequel was superior to the original.
  2. 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.

3 thoughts on “Underworld: Evolution (2006)”

  1. First:

    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.

    1) Did the sources like the first movie? Then they don’t count. They like different movies than you do.

    2) Non Sequitur

    I had low expectations for the movie of the first. I decided to watch it after seeing the trailer for part II. Once I suspended my disbelief in the diminutive Ms Beckinsale portraying the #1 hunter of lycans over several centuries, the rest of the flick was quite enjoyable.

    I do agree with your sources because I liked the second even more.

    Michael gets his behind handed to him regularly at first. As he should. I don’t remember what he did before transformation, but I doubt he was a Green Beret. His proficiency in ass-kickery develops with the story.

    I did not have many problems with continuity as I watched both flicks within a month or so.

    The ‘hot’ vampire on half-breed action was one of the most anatomically incorrect scenes in quite some time. Possibly more goofy than your favorite from the Matrix trilogy.

  2. The ‘hot’ vampire on half-breed action was one of the most anatomically incorrect scenes in quite some time. Possibly more goofy than your favorite from the Matrix trilogy.

    If you are referring to the fact that it Michael appeared to be making all sorts of busy with Ms. Beckinsale’s navel, then you are correct, sir. I very nearly pointed that out to Laura while we were watching, but then I realized that she had fallen asleep and I didn’t feel like waking her up to point out that Michael was humping Selene’s belly button.

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