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Plot: A war has been raging between the Vampires and Lycan for centuries, Selene (Beckinsale) is a death dealer, assigned to hunt down and eradicate the last of the Lycan. When she comes across Michael Corvin (Speedman) who holds the key to end the war she must decide where her allegiances will lie. Runtime: 121 min Release Date: 19 Sep 2003
Let me start this review by saying that, while this work is NOT scary, it was not MEANT to be scary. This production was classed into the genre of "Horror," strictly due to the "monster" factor. There are "tense" moments, to be sure, but this is not a "boo!" kind of movie. There is; however, plenty of action, lots of well enacted drama and wonderful realistic effects. I was actually amazed with the apparent lack of high-dollar effects, the almost Rice-ian Vampire clans lounging in the well designed lush and lavish "mansion," the gritty tension <more>
held throughout the movie, and the stunningly clever costume designs. But what held me mostly in thrall were the effects.The effects were so well done, they were believable. They explain that the older Lycan can change at will, regardless of the moon's cycle...with that in mind, the way the werewolves' mandible bones FORCED themselves out and into place was dead ON. Changing at will would BE like that, especially in times of anger or great stress. Someone possibly Wiseman? had heard and correctly believed that "less is more," because the effects were done in such a way as to appear REAL and not...simply more Hollywood "Matrix" flash. These scenes were so well done; so well directed, filmed and portrayed that we could, even if for a short time, believe the things we were watching...were possible. The wonderfully unique bullets used by both sides are absolutely brilliant. It reminded me if the horribly campy western/vampire movie made about 10 or 15 years ago entitled, "Sundown," where the vampire hunters used wooden bullets.I am simply stunned to discover that this is Len Wiseman's first attempt in the field as Director. I eagerly look forward to more brilliance from this man. He was also one of the writers of the original literary work. If this is his first attempt, we may have just been introduced to the next Spielberg. Personally, I'm hoping he leans more towards being the next Hitchcock. The weaponry Selene Kate Beckinsale utilized was quite unique and completely interested the small audience in my hometown theater. When she drew her stars and threw them simultaneously at the Lycan; when the scene slowed to an almost stop just long enough to allow you to SEE the throwing stars as they CHANGED into much more deadly projectiles, was absolutely excellent. AND was also the ONLY scene in this entire movie which even remotely reminded me of "The Matrix." The other critics keep droning on and on with comparisons between these two movies, and frankly, I just don't see it. Also, "Blade" has been used as a source of comparison. The only similarities between "Blade" and "Underworld" are that Viktor, the oldest and strongest of the Vampiric race of "Pure Bloods," uses a sword. Oh, and there are Vampires. Those were the ONLY common points, as far as I could tell. This is an original work; not a petty rip-off or a "jumble of other movies." This is a very creative and unique attempt; a successful one, if you ask me. While guns were used more than I would have liked, the additional weaponry chosen for this endeavor was not your standard action-flick fare. One of the vampire "Death Dealers" uses a pair of 10' whips quite well. And don't forget about the bullets I mentioned...what an extraordinary intellectual and creative power. The costumes were kept simple, yet served the purpose of helping to set the mood. Two words...understated elegance. Absolutely brilliant. Some have said that the story line is hard to follow, or that there is no discernible plot. Let me be frank. This is not a movie for the squeamish, nor is it a movie for those who like to be able to NOT concentrate on the plot. Sure, there is enough visual eye candy to keep most casual fans of the genre entertained, but there is also a very complicated and beautifully sinister plot and subplots going on beneath the flying bullets and shots of Kate Beckinsale's butt in latex and leather. The Shakespearean relationship between Selene and Michael Scott Speedman is well written and pleasantly portrayed, in the midst of all that darkness and drama. A bit of candle-light to shine hope into the darkness of despair, as it were. The story is an upgraded spin on a timeless classic, with enough additional plot and sub-plot to keep even the most common movie-goer interested. The war between the Vampires and the Lycan has raged for more than a thousand years. The Lycan, once the serving class to the Vampire, had risen against their masters and won their freedom. But was that the real story? Was their freedom truly the motivating force which stoked the fires of this war for this long? In the center of this war are Selene Vampire and Michael Lycan . Their love of one another is forbidden by every Vampire Covenant written, but will that be enough to stop them from falling in love? As one of the chosen "Death Dealers," an organization within the Vampire Clans trained and equipped to hunt and kill Lycans, Selene is faced with a decision most dire: sell out and live? or be true to herself and die? Will her loyalty to her ancient maker keep her from making the right choice? And that is where the sub-plot kicks into overdrive and makes you sit back and say, "Oh wow! No kidding?!" at the darkling twists in the plot. I was thoroughly entertained by this work, and cannot wait to add the DVD to the Vampire section of my horror collection. Superb acting; rich depth of character; talented, creative directing; and realistic effects put this movie at the top of all other Vampyre movies, for me. It earns an ambitious 9.7/10 from...the Fiend :.
I liked this movie. Definatley a different take on vampires, other than the things we've seen in buffy! Makes a nice change to see a female hold down a main role, and kate beckansale sp? did it beautifully. This is a must see movie, and possibly one of the best movies of 2003.
Original Vampire & Werewolf film (by RaidaS)
I loved Underworld. But I love most decent Vampire or Werewolf films, so that's a bit biased, eh? Basing the two species on a genetic, scientific idea makes them work exceedingly well, and removes all those problems that mysticism brings to a film, like reflections or holy items. This Vamp-Werewolf model make explanations easy, rather than requiring long prologues or in-depth discussions. The whole 'virus' idea is logical, and easy to follow. It's slick, modern, fast-paced action combined with classic, Gothic Vampire & Werewolf ideas, like the Vamp's high-tech weapons <more>
being kept in a massive, stately manor. I'm a real fan of the whole colour scheme, with few colours used in any one shot, and blues used for almost everything, keeping it looking cool, and sleek. I am also a Kate Beckinsale fan, and I love Action films that don't use women like an extra person to shout 'watch out!' or hit someone over the head. K.Beckinsale's character is great for this, it's someone who could easily be a guy. Although, I'm thinking the outfit'd need a bit of enlarging if it were
For all I know, there could already be a comic book in the works for the vampire-werewolf fantasy, "Underworld." I just got back from seeing it and I must say that this movie should stand up pretty well in the face of all the ridiculous read: pointless, useless "Matrix; Crow; Blade" comparisons. I've heard that this movie is based on some RPG game I have never heard of and if that's true, I don't really care; this movie could probably beat the hell out of it. "Underworld" really has a unique feel to it. The story doesn't stand up well under a <more>
whole lot of thought, but that doesn't really matter. What should really capture some people, are the special effects and the sets. There are some pretty nifty werewolf transformation scenes that certainly deserve Oscar attention. The sets, highly Victorian as they are, also should get some props. This movie is going to be a comic book; I can tell. It certainly has the look, feel, and story of one, yet that still doesn't make it bad. Speaking of the story, though it isn't strong, it gets to you. The thought that vampires and werewolves have been duking it out for thousands of years right under our noses is intriguing, even if it hasn't been fleshed out that well in the film. Even still, it gets you thinking about everything that war means to them and us.As for the action scenes, they are certainly well shot and violent. Surprisingly, there isn't that much gore here either. But what is really surprising is that the movie doesn't offer us pointless action scenes to fill in for lack of story; there's actually meaning behind it all."Underworld" is a pretty well-done fantasy that deserves to be immortalized in the comics.9/10
Underworld is an action packed horror movie! I think Kate Beckinsale was great in the film! I really liked her look! Seeing a woman with black pants, black shirt, and a long black jacket that can handle guns and fight with ease is truly an amazing thing to watch! Bill Nighy played Viktor very well! He was fixed up neat with all kinds make up! Kevin Grevioux, who has been in many other films but most recognized in the 2001 version of the Planet of Apes was very good in Underworld! The music is very good in the film and matches its dark nature! The film has a very dark nature and I like the <more>
story where Vampires and Lycanthropes fight each other! The special effects look good especially the scene with the moon! Underworld is a decent horror film that takes the two legends of Vampires and Werewolves to a different stage. If you like Kate Beckinsale, these two different factions of monsters, horror, and action then I recommend you see Underworld!
Solid Gothic action flick about vampires n werewolves. (by Fella_shibby)
I saw this first in a theatre in 2003. Revisited it recently on a DVD. Seen all its sequels in theatre. The plot - Kate Beckinsale is a vampire looking incredibly hot in ridiculously tight leather matrix style clothes whose job it is to eliminate the werewolves as part of the centuries old war between the two species. Her acting is good too. Things change when Beckinsale tries to protect a human, Speedman who is targetted by the werewolves for some reasons. The movie has a distinctively Gothic look, with great attention given to the backdrop. Every inch of the cinematography is polished. The <more>
architecture and costumes are true fashion statements. This world is so dense with aggressiveness it is almost surreal. Borrowing from The Matrix and Blade, the director Len Wiseman made Underworld more of a goth action flick n less of a vampire/werewolf. Nonetheless pretty enjoyable action flick. Was happy that none of those hand held shaky cam stuff was added.
As soon as I saw the preview to this film I wrote it off as a silly Matrix rip-off trying to attack a subject that is so tired vampires/werewolves . I really never had any intention of seeing Underworld until my girlfriend, who saw it in theaters, repeatedly suggested I watch it. After watching the DVD just now I must say that I enjoyed it a lot. I was completely into the story, which is surprisingly rich and engaging. One would have to be a bit naïve not to admit that Underworld does indeed borrow from a variety of action films, most notably The Matrix. It should be obvious to any <more>
free-thinking person that none of the ideas present in Underworld are original, but what this film does well is take ideas that were established in the past and build on them more. This is by no means a carbon copy of any of the films from which it borrows from. Slow motion gun battles didn't originate with the Matrix films. The most refreshing aspect of this movie is the story, which surprisingly has many layers and puts a totally fresh new spin on the vampire/werewolf stories. This aspect, along with the excellent visual effects makes Underworld an enjoyable experience. A sequel for this is inevitable, and I must say that I'm really looking forward to it. Underworld was a very pleasant surprise. *** out of **** stars
I have just watched Underworld for the second time, and I was gratified to discover that it was every bit as good as I remembered - if not more so. No two ways about it; this is one terrific movie.The action scenes and some of the special effects could be better, but the movie has utterly superb style, mood, plot and acting! The story itself is probably the best vampire-slash-werewolf story I've encountered though admittedly I don't know many, as I'm not really a horror fan , and the ending is just fabulous.I also just love the thing about the chief vampires sleeping for <more>
predetermined periods of time, and are then revived - this is incredibly cool.And the whole thing is borne aloft by the great skill of the British lead actors - particularly hard-hitting cutie Kate Beckinsale, wild-eyed Michael Sheen and that late bloomer of a genuine acting icon, Bill Nighy, who gives an unflinching performance.It won't be long now till Underworld: Evolution comes out - and I'm just thrilled at the prospect of seeing more of this stylish world! If they can fulfill my expectations of the sequel, I will be making an upward correction of my rating of this movie from 8 to 9, because then we'll have a larger universe which makes sense in a larger context. That's how a good movie franchise should function.Crossing fingers!
When Underworld was release in the theaters I didn't bother seeing it, because of the bad reviews. I recently rented it because the video store didn't have anything better to offer, that I had not already seen, and I must say that I was very much surprised. It was far better than expected. I especially liked the acting of Bill Nighy as the vampire lord Viktor, and Micheal Sheen as the werewolf leader Lucian. I think that the plot is quite strong, and it does not ruin the vampire or werewolf legend. What i didn't like as much was the werewolf costumes. I didn't find the <more>
convincing. But apart from that, it was very entertaining, and I am looking forward to see the sequel i the theaters.