An immortal battle for supremacy.
"A well conceived, powerful movie, over the top for all the right reasons. Michael Booth, Denver Post
|Selene, a beautiful vampire warrior, is entrenched in a war between the vampire and werewolf races. Although she is aligned with the vampires, she falls in love with michael, a werewolf who longs for the war to end.|
"It's Shakespearean in its political machinations and closer to "Saving Private Ryan" and "Starship Troopers" than to "Dracula" or "The Howling." William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"...an old-fashioned monster flick decked out with Hollywood's full battery of high-tech visual effects. David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
"...a well-constructed, convincingly scary world worth visiting. Lawrence Toppman, Charlotte Observer
"...a truly interesting take on the whole vampires 'n' werewolves genre. Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle
"A sleek action thriller! Robert K. Elder, Chicago Tribune
In UNDERWORLD, a dark and Gothic monster action movie, vampires and lycans--an ancient form of werewolf--are at war. While the vampires inhabit a gigantic castle that houses their ancestor's tombs, the lycans live underground in a dilapidated sewer cave. Both teams are equipped with big guns, and they are constantly innovating deadlier bullets to gain advantage over each other. On the vampire side, the leather-clad death agent Selene (Kate Beckinsale) delegates teams of vamps to attack the lycans. But when she discovers that the lycans have kidnapped a human medical student, Michael Corvin (Scott Speedman), she knows the worst is on its way. Against the orders of her superior, Kraven (Shane Brolly), who is obsessively in love with Selene, she awakens the most powerful vampire of all time, Viktor (Bill Nighy) and prepares for a massive feud against lycan leader Lucian (Michael Sheen).Director Len Wiseman offers a tough, fast, and gory addition to the horror-fantasy genre with UNDERWORLD. Impressive special effects show the lycans transforming from humans to werewolves, and the lycans' ability to squeeze silver bullets out of their skin is also rudely fascinating. Beckinsale is captivating in the role of the lead vamp, with her leather corset, pouty expressions, and double-fisted pistols perfectly communicating the glam-action mood of the film.
Underworld - DVD Review
By: Annette Cardwell
filmcritic.com DVD Reviews
Published on: 5/3/2009 5:39 AM
Underworld’s trailer makes it looks wonderfully slick and dark in the tradition of The Matrix and Blade; but after seeing it, you’ll realize that everything that seemed dazzling was simply stolen and then abused – from its Dark Shadows-meets-Matrix costumes to its Blade weaponry to its Nine Inch Nails video backdrops. Nothing about Underworld is original; it’s a hackneyed, patched-together goth-kid fantasy that I’m convinced was written a 15-year-old boy who wears black eyeliner (think the Saturday Night Live skit “Goth Talk”)....read the full review
Cast & Crew
Movieline's Hollywood Life
"...The film debut of music video director Len Wiseman, looks deliciously apt..."
"...Wiseman creates some neat comic-book visuals dipped in blue-grey hues. The climax is action-packed..."
"Leather-clad Kate Beckinsale steals the show..."
James Berardinelli's ReelViews 8 of 10
Vampire movies aren't what they used to be. Gone are the days when a cape, fangs, a cocked eyebrow,
- James Berardinelli
San Francisco Chronicle 7 of 10
The plot is pretty standard, with a twist at the end that is a pleasant surprise considering the plo
- Peter Hartlaub
Chicago Sun-Times 6 of 10
Brendan Gill, the distinguished writer for the New Yorker, offered a definition of pornography that has stood the test of time. A porno movie, he said, is a movie where you become acutely aware that the characters are spending too much time getting in and out of cars and walking in and out of doors. Gill's wisdom came to mind when Todd McCarthy, writing in Variety, observed of "Underworld" that "there may be more openings and closings of doors in this picture than in the entire oeuvre of Ernst Lubitsch." That is not the sort of detail that should occur to you while you're watching a movie about a war between werewolves and vampires...But "Underworld" is all surfaces, all costumes and sets and special effects, and so you might as well look at the doors as anything else. This is a movie so paltry in its characters and shallow in its story that the war seems to exist primarily to provide graphic visuals. Two of those visuals are Kate Beckinsale, who plays Selene, a vampire with (apparently) an unlimited line of credit at North Beach Leather, and Scott Speedman as Michael, a young intern who is human, at least until he is bitten by a werewolf -- and maybe even after, since although you become a vampire after one bites you, I am uncertain about the rules regarding werewolves, Hold on, I just Googled it. A werewolf bite does indeed turn you into a werewolf, according to a Web site about the computer game Castlevania..."Underworld" is the directing debut of Len Wiseman, an art director ("Stargate," "Independence Day") who can stage great-looking situations but has few ideas about characters and plots. It's so impossible to care about the characters in the movie that I didn't care if the vampires or werewolves won. I might not have cared in a better movie, either, but I might have been willing to pretend.
- Roger Ebert
ReelViews 7 of 10
Vampire movies aren't what they used to be. Gone are the days when a cape, fangs, a cocked eyebrow, and a menacing glare were enough. By today's standards, those things are quaint. Underworld, from first time director Len Wiseman, is an example of a vampire movie for the new century - stylish, gothic, gory, and loud. The plot may not be irrelevant (in fact, this movie requires too much exposition to clarify the situation), but character development is. And, as a bonus, not only do we have vampires, but werewolves as well. In fact, they're at war with each other, and have been for about 1000 years. You would think that even with a pathetically slow kill rate, they would have wiped each other out by now...Style over substance seems to be Wiseman's mantra. The entire movie is filmed in a metallic monochrome that makes things appear depressingly dreary. The look is a combination of Blade and The Crow. The soundtrack features some jarring heavy metal music, something that is becoming popular with "hip" movies these days. Nothing like numbing the mind by assaulting the ears, I suppose. Still, the movie looks sufficiently offbeat to be interesting, although the muted colors and lack of anything resembling bright light becomes a little wearisome before the proceedings are over...The film stars Kate Beckinsale, but it doesn't require much in the way of acting from her. All she has to do is look dangerous and sexy in a skintight leather suit...Had Underworld been shorter, it would have been more fun. As it is, there are dead stretches in the middle where it seems to be spinning its wheels. The big battle at the end is fun, although I felt cheated by the final scene, which promises a sequel. Fans of Blade and other gloomy, bloodthirsty action movies will probably be entertained. Underworld captured my attention sporadically, but not consistently.
- James Berardinelli